Daisybank to Middlemarch
My plan was to hang out as long as I could at camp. It was a beautiful spot but the sun hit it really late and it was cold. I still took it as slow as I could. Sarah the backpacker was packed up and ready to go before I even got up. She was the first one out. The Australian couple dallied a bit but still left way before me. By the time I was ready riders were already coming by heading for Middlemarch.
The only stop along the way was the Hyde Hotel. By now the Adventure South group was catching up with me. I was ready to blow by Hyde when they showed up so I stopped and had some coffee with a few of them. Really nice to be socializing with this tour group. Most of them are from Australia except for the couple from Washington.
By now it was getting hot. Wonderfully hot. I just wanted to soak it all in. Although I was trying to ride slow I still had a tailwind and was making good time. Bas and Fiona had modified the plan several times, but my instructions were to meet the bus in Middlemarch about 4 on their way back from dropping the riders off at the Pukeragi train station. The end of the line came too soon as felt like I could have kept riding on and on. But I had now ridden this trail in both directions, got to know it quite well, and met some great people along the way.
I stopped at the picnic tables at the trailhead to dry my tent. It didn't take long in the heat and lite wind. Fiona said the plans had changed again and I should head over to the Kissing Gate Cafe and join them for lunch. I did and we then loaded my bike on the back of their trailer with all of the tour bikes. We hung out quite a while before leaving. The road to the Pukerangi station is rough gravel and Bas does not like taking the trailer on it, so he unhitched the trailer at the head of the road and I stayed to guard it. If I wasn't there they just would have left it anyhow. But now I had a "role" to play. I said goodbye to the group and thanked them.>
The road from there to Dunedin was amazing. Up and down and around some very steep hills. I would not have been able to ride it. Mostly harsh and bare country until we approached Mosgiel. Now it was green with lots of farms. Very nice. Lots of traffic now as we approached Dunedin. Bas dropped me of at an intersection I was familiar with and I easily found my way back to the Holiday Park where I payed up for 3 nights. Looking forward to a nice beach day tomorrow.