Working on the Railroad

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Start time: 10:20am
Distance: 47km
Finish time: 4:50pm
Weather: Hot and Sunny

Apparently biking 47km of the Poolburn Gorge Spectacular on the Central Otago Rail Trail after hiking 35km on the Routeburn was a good idea. The Rail Trail is a 4 day bike ride from Clyde, a little over an hour away from Queenstown, to just outside Dunedin where an old railway use to be. It is a relatively flat, or downhill in our direction, gravel path, which is nothing like biking on asphalt.

Where we started in Auripo was probably the most scenic of our day. It was vast and open in every direction with a dry arid terrain dotted with fascinating rocks. We biked through two very dark tunnels, crossed over old bridges with the railroad track still in place and flew down the down hills when we could. The little towns that bordered the trail had old stations to pass by, and we stopped for lunch and a couple beers when we reached Omahau.

Along the next stretch, we crossed pastures full of cows, sheep and horses. Every time we would “moo” or “baah” at them, they would just stare at us in what seemed like total disgust. The sun beat down on us with no shadow shelter along the path, and we eventually found another cute little tavern to stop in for a pint. The Chatto Creek Tavern was the last booze stop until Alexandra, so we made sure to extra enjoy. The day completely gorgeous, and will probably be one of my NZ highlights. The “Ale” Trail was a beauty, and I look forward to completing the entire track one day.

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