We are now in South Island and the people in New Zealand are right, it is even more stunningly beautiful than North Island. We only arrived this morning and have only done a 28km cycle ride today, mainly on the flat, so I am likely to develop more of a love hate relationship with the mountains but it was breath taking. We were cycling down from Picton, where the ferry arrives, and there was a vineyard on one side, mountains on the other, a cattle farm in front of the vineyard and a swampy river to our side, you couldn't even imagine the range of scenry. It is very, very hot though which makes cycling harder so we are going to be getting up pretty early and having long breaks for lunch to avoid the mid day heat. I have been good with sun screen so far but have managed to have a very stylish red line accross my back where my t shirt and cycling shorts did not touch so am avoiding being in the sun when not cycling.
The 28 km cycle today was a good chance to try out different cycling techniques and I am trying to move my legs faster in a lower gear which is supposed to be better technique. Nancy has given me the Top 1000 tips for cycling and I am reading it, after cycling all day, so am becoming a complete cycle geek. I have now managed to buy a women's saddle which I am hoping will be much more comfortable than the not-very-padded men's one my bike came with! I am hoping that I am begining to look like I know what I am doing!
Nancy and I are heading to our first "Peddler's Rest" hostel with our tent tomorrow so I will let you know how it goes. It appears to be a family who convieniently live about 70km away from the next nearest town and like cyclists and are willing to offer a camp site. The advert also says they offer high quality merino wool cycle shirts (I can't imagine wearing wool to cycling in without expiring) and food so it could be brilliant. We are then on South to Christchurch which is supposed to be flat so we are going to rent a tandem.
lots of love,