Cycling Tour in New Zealand, Day 7

November 25 Friday, Spring Creek to Blenheim

Day 7 map

Day 7 elevation profile
26 miles, 587 feet of climb, 640 ft max

Sheep out in a field Sue wanted to call her parents on Thanksgiving so we hung around the hostel until she figured her brother would be there when she called.

Parking lot at a winery We had a nice conversation with Swampy who gave us some good tips on places to see around Blenheim. We stopped and bought a couple Christmas presents at a winery gift shop and sampled the product of the boutique chocolate factory across the road.

Sue riding through the vinyards With the relatively dry weather, the vinyards and the mountains, the scenery here reminds me a lot of home.

Coming into Blenheim we stopped and did major re-supply at a Fresh Choice supermarket. While Sue was inside shopping I chatted with an Englishman who was just leaving on his motorcycle. He owns a small vinyard and was in town to hire some backpackers to work in the fields.

Square and monument in Blenheim We stopped in downtown Blenheim for lunch, finally leaving the city at 2:15.

We made a big mistake leaving so late. By afternoon, the "freshening breeze" from the south had become a gale-force headwind with blustery crosswinds as we crested the first big climb. Sue was blown completely into the opposing lane of traffic at one point. We walked our bikes the last 200 meters and continued walking down the other side. It took us nearly an hour and a half to do the first 9 miles of the 36-mile trip. We did the math and decided to return to Blenheim. (20 mph on the flat without pedalling on the way back!)

Hostel in Blenheim We are staying at the Koanui Lodge and Backpackers on the south side of town. It's the nicest place yet, at $30 each per night. We have an "en-suite" (with bath) twin room with TV and lots of space. (Sue's photos)

Courtyard of the hostel in Blenheim We're up the stairs on the second floor above the courtyard. There's a supermarket next door - we had stir fry tonight.

I never was able to get the phone in the hostel to work correctly over several hours of trying. Finally we found a pay phone down the street and I changed our reservations at Cycle Packers hostel to tomomow night.

Early start tomorrow to beat the wind!

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