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Finding Freedom...World Wide Ride

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by BcDano, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    The forecast is for some showers today and then 4-5 days of sunshine. We picked up the bikes and then headed out in some light showers to Hanmer Springs.

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    We noted on the road signs that the route to Picton on the highway 1 or Kaikoura road that just opened a month ago after 3 years is closed again after massive land slides. This means all the traffic must go on the 2 other paved roads or the Molesworth road. The sun was out soon enough and we had an easy 134 km.

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    We stopped here for lunch and the couple next to us were riding as well, but are here from Greece. He leaned over to me and said “ This is a small world I saw you on an HU post yesterday from Mt Cook!” He and Dan are actually FB friends already! Very nice couple and we wish we had met them sooner. They are headed to St. Arnaud as well today, but on the paved road and they have to catch the ferry at Picton in the morning.
    SmilinJoe likes this.
  2. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We set off from Hanmer on the Jack pass road and then onto the Tophouse Road, which is 110 km of dirt to meet the highway 63 near to St Arnaud. Most of the road is good first gravel with a good track.

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    MaNDan, SmilinJoe and SavannahCapt like this.
  3. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    After about 50 km we came across a narrow, but very deep steep edged ford and then 55 km in a very wide river to cross. BTW we have not seen another vehicle.

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  4. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    There is a large bridge crossing the main river. When we finally made it to the Rainbow Station road 2 km later and 30 km from St Arnaud the gate sign said road closed. So with nothing to loose we decided to go on a bit and see. What we found were a few medium fords and poorer road, and then a huge land slide blocking the road after another 3 km. Now you think somewhere in the last 75 km there would have been a sign to say the road was closed or the local I stopped to talk to on the way would have said something!!

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    MaNDan, SmilinJoe and SavannahCapt like this.
  5. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    It is now 5 pm and we will turn back, but 5 km back there was an emergency shelter hut for hikers and we decided to stay here the night. So now to get turned around on the landslide and then back over the raging river (Dan had to ride Lulu of course). The small cabin has 6 bunks and the water from the stream nearby can be drunk after boiling. There is also a very clean long drop. It is a beautiful sunny day and there are few clouds. The last people to sign into the Intentions book were from Squamish BC!


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    MaNDan, roadcapDen, SmilinJoe and 2 others like this.
  6. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We hope to get some good star shots tonight! About 930 we had a knock on the door and 2 fisherman and their land rover also decided to park for the night. They “kindly” woke us at 715 to see if we wanted hot water for coffee and ask us “do you have food?” We have food of course, but were glad of the hot water for coffee as it saved us heating it ourselves. Nice gentlemen!

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    MaNDan, yamalama, SmilinJoe and 2 others like this.
  7. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We set off back the 65 km to Hanmer with only the one deep and narrow ford. Luckily just as we arrived we could prevent a “kid” from getting his small car stuck here and blocking our exit as he was just about to go for it. We told him to turn back and he did. We made good time and at speed back to town for some fuel. So now we have to go all the way around.


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    Jack’s Pass into Hanmer

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  8. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We decided to take the Lewis pass to Reefton and then stop for lunch. Here instead of going directly to Westport we rode south to Greymouth and then north on the “Great Coast Road” to Westport.

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    On the way north you can see nice views of the rugged coastline and stop to visit the iconic Pancake rocks.

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    We decided to stop in Westport as we had been chasing behind the last of the storm and it was raining the the last 30 min, and we were too tired to go on up the coast to Karamea. We arrived very cold and tired and stopped at the only hotel without a No Vacancy sign. They have a really good system in this town and others as it is often fully booked. One place each day takes the role of central bookings. She knows which bars and hotels in town have beds. She set us up 700m down the road in the Cosmopolitan Bar/hotel. Good hot shower and lots of plugs to charge everything we have.
    Pete S, MaNDan and SmilinJoe like this.
  9. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We will have to abandon the ride over the next few days we had planned up to Golden bay and Abel Tasman as there has been 15 landslides and the highway 60 is closed. It is raining lightly, but is supposed to be sunny today. The original plan was to ride up the coast to Karamea and then onto St Arnaud. We did a 50 km ride up the coast, but it was just “mianh”,but the sun was out now.

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    The rest of the plan today was to head thru the Bhueller gorge and then along the 6 to St Arnaud, but the town of Muchison 60 km closer is nicer we have heard and there is a great camp site on the river . We have a riverside site since we arrived at 2 pm. They have a swimming hole, lots of kitchens and lounge spaces, and bikes to borrow. We did borrow 2 and rode into town for a [​IMG] and dinner at the local bar.

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    MaNDan, SavannahCapt and SmilinJoe like this.
  10. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Today we are headed to the ferry town of Picton.


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    It was overcast in Murchison, but by the time we made it to St Arnaud it was sunny.

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    We stopped in Blenheim for some lunch at Coupland’s bakery where the chocolate covered cream filled donuts were insane. Filled with a cup of real whip cream. We back tracked a bit on the road towards Nelson to get to the scenic Queen Charlotte Drive ( the road from there to Nelson is also closed). This may have been the best 40 km of tarmac we have had in NZ. It was curvy and smooth.

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    MaNDan, SavannahCapt and SmilinJoe like this.
  11. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Despite the beautiful day the forecast is for very heavy rain tomorrow and so we found a B&B not far from the ferry. They even had a garage downstairs for the bikes. We checked in and were getting cleaned up when there was a knock at the door. It was Roger Arnold from Papamoa! He had just arrived to Picton last night after a 4 day walk over the mountains with a group of 10 friends. He had checked our spot and saw we were headed to Picton and well, and luckily it fired at the B&B and he tracked us there! Such a small world and so great to have friends to hang out with today and on the ferry tomorrow.

    Well as advertised it was build an arc pouring at 8 when we got up, but it had let up by at least 1/2 by 1015 when we rode to the ferry dock 800 m away. We did not have to wait long to board luckily. We loaded with Hugo a biker from Argentina, but there were about 12 Kiwi bikes already tied down. They at least have well chocks on the Inter-islander boats unlike the Bleubridge we took on the way over.

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    Ruth and Roger had saved us some prime seats, which was nice. It was all good until we left the protection of the fjord and then the boat really started rocking and there was a lot of sick people for the next 2 hours. Sara was pretty bad and had to sit in the hall near the centre of the boat until we got into Wellington harbour.

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    MaNDan, SavannahCapt and SmilinJoe like this.
  12. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    It was barely raining now and we headed the 25 km to our buddy Mike’s house. He had the garage open and waiting for us. Dan’s 800 has shown a low charge a few times today WTF! We started with what was the issue one of the times the stator was killed by an overfilled oil system. You can not trust anyone clearly as the guys in Christchurch overfilled both bikes by almost 300 cc!!! Well we had to siphon that off and seems to have fixed the stress on the bike! We shall see…..

    For our day here with Mike he has planned a ride out on the Moonshine Hill road and then over the Akatarawa pass to Waikanae.

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    We started out from his place and quickly onto the narrow lane that is the Moonshine Hill road. You have to be careful of the locals who drive at speed and often on your side of the road.

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    We then made for the Akatarawa road , but found that it was closed yesterday just 1 km from the summit, so we did an up and back. We then made it around to the lookout by the back way.

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  13. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We woke to drizzle and fog, but the forecast north is better.

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    We have to endure the ride on the #1 as far as Turakina.

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    MaNDan and SmilinJoe like this.
  14. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    From here we started north on the Turakina Valley road and this is 120 km along the river to meet the Hwy 49 of which about 2/3 is gravel.


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    MaNDan and SmilinJoe like this.
  15. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    You will ride along and occasionally there is a stretch of 5 km of beautiful pavement out of nowhere. We did not see another vehicle the entire time. The scenery varies form rolling hills, to farm land and is often along the river.

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    The road ends at the tar seal on the Highway 49 11 km east of Ohakune. Here we finally got some lunch at nearly 3 and decided to set up in the campground here. We walked into the village for supplies and cooked us a nice bbq dinner. The sites here are along a stream and that was the only sounds soothing us all night.

    [​IMG]IMG_2236 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
    MaNDan and SmilinJoe like this.
  16. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We woke to clouds, but no rain and we packed up and set out about 10.

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    First we rode 20 km up the Turoa mountain road. This is a paved road that winds thru the Tongariro national park and up to the ski hill. This is basically a few lifts on the side of a volcano and does not look very appealing.

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    We back tracked to 1 and then headed north on the 4 to Taumarunui. This is where you turn west on the 43 or the “Forgotten World Highway”.

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    We stopped in the town for lunch and when at the cafe Franz stopped by to talk. He has ridden his bike all over the world as well and it is currently in Costa Rica. While we were chatting with him a friend of his walked by and this is the same guy we saw riding in Glenorchy and in Te Anau!
    MaNDan and SmilinJoe like this.
  17. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    The Forgotten World Hwy is actually quite scenic and some of the best riding we have had in NZ overall.

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    It is sealed except for 12 km of dirt in the middle and there is one narrow dark tunnel.

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    SmilinJoe likes this.
  18. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Driving thru here you have to stop in the Republic of Whangamomona at the pub for a drink. There is not much else here and we decided at 4 pm to press on to Stratford.

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    The forecast is for rain and so we opted for a cabin. They are quite nice here and even our “basic” one had linens and a fridge and sink. We walked the 1.5km back to town to top up our food supplies and had an early night.
    roadcapDen, MaNDan and SmilinJoe like this.
  19. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Well it is not raining. The forecast here is so unreliable it is a bit frustrating, but at least we will have a nice day. The plan it to get up the coast on the main road and then stick to the country roads all the way to Raglan.

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    It is Friday today and we are also in the midst of trying to get shipping for the bikes organized for next week. This means a number of calls today and we have a booking with GT Logistics to drop the bikes Monday am for a steam clean and then they are supposed to ship on Wednesday to Melbourne.

    There are a number of issues and most stressful is that the behind the scene of shipping is as Dan says “ a dark art” it is so hard to get a straight answer out of these guys in general. We have had the best luck with GT with good communication and an all in roll on price. They also have steam cleaning services. We will spend the weekend getting them as clean as we can and ready for the bio-hazard quarantine in Australia. If you fail this it is 75$ per hour for cleaning. This is why in the end we only made it part way on the small road as we needed to get cell coverage and headed to Waitomo for that.

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    MaNDan and SmilinJoe like this.
  20. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Now it is just another 92 km north and west to Raglan. This is a nice beach/surf town with great camping on the spit. We set up our tent and then were invited next door to the cabin of a family who invited us to share the fish they caught today.

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    MaNDan, SmilinJoe and everready like this.