Sat 4 March 2017
- Km today: 28
- Total Km: 837
Alps 2 Ocean
As the trail leaves Duntroon it passes through a wet land area with a carved archway and wooden board walking. An information board educates on the flora and fauna of the wet land. The trail then follows the river for a way as it skirts dairying land. A farmer is out moving the K-lines in all of the paddocks. There are a lot of them to move so even at the breakneck speed that he repositions them from his quad bike we continue neck and neck, the hare and the tortoise. We have a chat when he stops to inspect the irrigation pond. Then our race is on again.
The trail comes out alongside the highway and continues for many kms like this. It is pretty boring actually. Some plum trees provide a bit of respite otherwise I amble along wishing for shade, some seating would be nice occasionally and some company. There are many cyclists doing the Alps 2 Ocean, many would be retired I guess and they all say hi as they pass. A walker on this trail would be a novelty I determine. The track leaves the road again and heads towards the Waitaki river again although it doesn’t go along the banks, but instead through the willows and non descript land adjacent. There are three rivers to cross however they are all dry with no sign of water at this time of the year. Pivots make irrigated arcs in the paddocks and it is remarkable to see the contrast from one side of the road to the other – green on one side and dry brown on the other. One pivot is so large it goes over a house!
I know I must be getting close to the winery that the trail goes through and eventually I am walking through vines to the cellar door cafe. It is busy so I find a shady spot to order some food and a glass of wine – their gewurtz. I’ve had better. Nicely sated it is only 5km to Kurow so I chugg along as quickly as possible. My shin gets sore after 20kms or so but I just push on. At Kurow I stop into the hotel and get a room for the night. Trish and Ross are very welcoming and I learn that Trish volunteers for the local St John station. It is manned entirely by a volunteer staff, which comes as no surprise any more. They are finding it more difficult to get new members however as people can’t or don’t want to devote their spare time to the organisation. I’m gobsmacked when they take care of my dinner. I never expect any favours or gratuities during the journey. Their hospitality is genuine and appreciative of what I am trying to achieve for St John. This is Richie McCaw country and there is memorabilia of him on the walls of the hotel and on an imposing sign along the main road.