Day 6 - Fox Glacier to Haast 122kms
Day 8 - Makarora to Wanaka 60kms

Day 7 - Haast to Makarora 78.5kms

I was woken by thunder, lightening and very heavy rain. It was 4am. I thought of the rugged bike packing tourers and knew they would not care about the rain, they would just get on with it. I on the other hand, turned over and went back to sleep. I checked out as late as I could and took a late breakfast in a nearby cafe. Then I set off on the bike.

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The trip from Haast to Makarora involves a fair bit of climbing. Haast Pass is probably the steepest section of road over this whole trip, but the road up to the pass is a quite pleasant steady climb. Weirdly enough, there is a risk of running out of water on the road. There are no shops along on the way. It is weird as this water shortage was going on at the same time as the rain pelted down onto me, the river raged to my left and the cliff face on my right had continual waterfalls. 

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 The bad weather gradually lifted.

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Gradually the beautiful scenery came into view.

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And at pretty much the top of the pass coincided with the disappearance of the last of the clouds.

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With less than an hour to go to Makarora, I could see from this sign that my journey's end was in sight.

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I arrived in Makarora at about 2pm after 4 hours of cycling across part of the Southern Alps. For the final fifteen minutes of the cycle I was talking to a woman who looked about my age, but was only three days from the end of the Tour Aotearoa. I stopped for the day and she stopped for a coffee.

But before I even took off my cycling helmet, I found myself talking to a Welsh couple, Tony and Mair from Merthyr Tydfil. They were travelling around South Island on Brompton bikes. Tony was a true gentleman and to prove it he carried all the luggage. 30kgs of it. Mair carried a water bottle. No wonder she smiled and laughed all the time. They had done a lot of cycling with only 6 gears on their bikes and didn't seem at all phased by the prospect of the journey ahead of them. They were cycling the reverse of my trip and aimed to reach Christchurch in just over a week.

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After talking for three hours, I checked into my sleeping quarters, washed my clothes and put them out to dry. The views were wonderful and I was looking forward to clear weather all the way to Queenstown.

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