Cycling Tour in New Zealand, Day 1

November 18 Friday, Christchurch to Punakaiki

Day 1 map

32 miles

Alan and Sue ready to board the Tranz Scenic train We ate our breakfast of muesli in the hostel and were out the door at 7:10, getting to the station just after 7:30, in plenty of tine for the 8:15 departure.

Hedgerows on the Canterbury plain seen from the air (Sue photo) Riding the train across the Canterbury plains, we saw lots of hedgerows planted to block the wind. We also saw them from the air as we were flying in yesterday. (The photo was actually taken by Sue on the flight home.) We are hoping for tail winds when we ride back to Christchurch in 10 days!

Field and mountains, seen from the train The TranzAlpine train delivered on the promised scenery. The outdoor observation deck was so crowded I just opted to look out the window from my seat.

Sue's photo, from the Tranz Alpine observation deck Sue was able to squeeze onto the observation deck and got some good shots.

Valley, seen from the train

Sue at Arthur's Pass The train stopped at Arthur's Pass so we could get out and take a look. Some people stay overnight to sightsee and hike and take another train on a subsequent day.

Seacoast north of Greymouth The train got into Greymouth around 1:15, half an hour late. We had fish 'n chips for lunch and tried to use our BBH phone card without success. Finally Sue noticed "The Hairy Lemon" BBH hostel, so we went in and the lady was kind enough to show us how to use the card.

Parts of the ride up the coast to Punakaiki reminded me of Hwy 1 on the Sonoma coast, except for the lack of traffic and the lush vegitation. We are staying at the Punakaihi Beach Resort Hostel. We have a suite of 5 beds to ourselves. A NZ mother/daughter are in the suite next door.

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