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Pirates of the Burley Griffin
A schedule bears the same relationship to reality as Astrology.
Day 3 - Beach to Beech - Greymouth to Westport via Punakaiki 
12th-Mar-2009 09:15 pm
Open Road!

The price of overextending yesterday was a light but enjoyable day today.

I also think that today covered some of the same route as Day 5 of the 2007 tour but in the opposite direction, ie heading north rather than south. As before it was a spectacular ride and the weather was better (as in not raining) if not particularly brighter.

We started about 4-5 Km out of Greymouth (one difference between the "recreational" and the "serious" cycling trips is the greater willingness of the guides to just skip any town riding) and then headed north to Punakaiki along the coast.

Now before anyone living in Perth and used to West Coast Highway gets the idea that coastal route = flat allow me a moment to go "bwahahahaha!" and draw your attention to today's maximum speed. That, and the 70-odd kilometres I covered yesterday caused my legs to start screaming at me fairly early into the ride, and stay screaming during the occasional flat bits.

I'm still having problems with the lower (but not lowest) gears in the new cluster which didn't help and I made the decision to call it for the day when I got to morning tea at Punakaiki.

Another difference between the "recreational" and "serious" cycling trips is more time for sightseeing off the bike. We actually had time to go for a walk along a path to see the pancake rocks and the blowholes which was very cool. There will be photos later.

A short ride later and we also got to walk the Truman Trail which is a 15 minute walk through rapidly changing vegetation (from quite thick forests surprisingly close to the coast through more scrubby woods through to palm/flaxy/ferny things right) to the rocky cliffs overlooking a definitely unsafe for swimming beach (there was even a sign). The west coast of NZ is spectacular, and the spectacle is often Mother Nature throwing a temper tantie. :)

After that I called it a day and dozed in the bus until we got to Westport. And here are the stats:

Day Max Average Distance Time BJ Rank  Against
365.5 16.6 41.69 2:30:20 11354413 
  Totals 163.079:00:13  

Looking forward to a longer ride tomorrow.

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