Day 22: To Hari Hari...It's Feeling Like The South Island!

We just didn't feel like riding more gravel. We just didn't. So we decided to not do the West Coast Wilderness Trail and instead continue on southward. Actually, Conrad and I sat in indecision until Jess said "let's take the sealed road" and we both sighed in relief.  I feel kind of guilty for cutting that bit out but it just didn't sound like fun to me after three weeks of riding. And I am not sure why I'm even justifying this to readers. Most of you don't know that I skipped it and don't care anyhow. 

We back tracked to the highway and rode to Hokitika for breakfast and to use the pump at the bike shop. My back tire was surprising low and man I was a new woman riding after it was all pumped up!

Kiwis have fun and quirky style: 

 This guy had a ton of license plates from the US. Check out the Utah plate on the front of his mailbox. Friendly guy too! 

This guy had a ton of license plates from the US. Check out the Utah plate on the front of his mailbox. Friendly guy too! 

 The yellow flowers are all planted in old boots from glacier hikers. The shop owner said she had "25 banana boxes full of boots" 

The yellow flowers are all planted in old boots from glacier hikers. The shop owner said she had "25 banana boxes full of boots" 

We road a total of a 100km today. It's funny how that is normal now when at first it was impossible. And today was a favorite day. We had a few climbs but nothing crazy, the sun was out (and warm enough I didn't need the muppet costume), and it's starting to look like how I picture the South Island.  

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As I rode, the landscape grew more lush and the snow-capped mountains were getting closer.

 The water was blue like at Havasupai! So gorgeous! 

The water was blue like at Havasupai! So gorgeous! 

I kept taking pics but they can't do justice. In an attempt to capture everything magical in this scene (which looks kind of mediocre here), I discovered that this is an electric fence. Now I have tingling in both hands. It's great. The funny thing is, I thought to myself "hey this is probably an electric fence." But I STILL touched it! Someone analyze that. But don't tell me your conclusion--I don't want to know.  

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I am so happy to be riding today! It was the perfect mix of everything I love in a good touring day.

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This fond memory will have to sustain me because it's 100% chance of showers for the next few days. Heaven help this fair-weather bikepacker.