Day 1 - Christchurch Airport to Springfield 69.4kms.
Day 3 - Bealey to Hokitika 110kms

Day 2 - Springfield to Bealey 72.4kms

When I started this journey I was glad that I'd broken the trip between Christchurch and Bealey into two. The distances don't look too long, but there was a fair bit of climbing, and as I was to discover, a headwind for most of the day. On the plus side, the roads were quiet and the weather was dry. 

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I left my Springfield Motel in beautiful sunshine and headed West - for the hills. My flat road very quickly began to steepen and the hills would not go away. They pretty much lasted all day.

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 Things eased a little as I cycled across a saddle to Castle Hill.

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Castle Hill was a rocky outcrop on a hill, and looked something like a ruined castle. 

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From the isolation of cycling alone on deserted roads, I suddenly found myself in an area full of tourists, all heading out to walk around the castle on the hill.

Continuing on, I finally arrived at the Bealey Hotel at about 3pm. The hotel was really a pub, but there were cabins next to it, which had private rooms and shared kitchen and bathrooms. There was also a washer and drier. So I checked-in, did my laundry and then headed to the pub for something to eat. The views were stunning as you can see, looking across the Bealey river.

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Once I got to the hotel and ordered my meal, I noticed that someone had taken some brambles and sculpted them into some 'Moa' - which are some sort of ancient birds which roamed the area.

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They looked slightly menacing, but were nothing compared to the much smaller menace. The sandflies. I had thought that the West Coast would have sandflies, and had bought the best anti sandfly treatment I could find at Christchurch Airport. But I did not expect to need it so soon into my trip.

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 It smelt lovely, with tea tree oil, lavender and something else which presumably sand flies hated. Whatever it was, the potion worked a treat, and I was not bothered by those nasty menaces for the whole trip.

End of the day, and nice black beer and a glass of black sambucca. 

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Tomorrow would be a long day, so an early night was in order. Plus I was still not really making many friends.

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