The route may be the same but the ride can be very different.
Sometimes the New Zealand geography is somewhat limiting for tour planning. I've been covering fresh ground until yesterday when we rocked into Wanaka, and from Wanaka to Queenstown there really is only one viable route and one I've cycled before.
But last time I didn't complete the climb to the top of the Crown Ranges. This time while Ingelise started from the hotel, Rosco drove me to the Cardrona Pub where I started the 14 Km climb to the summit of the pass. I estimate that this was another 700 m in altitude climb. However the last 3 kilometres of the climb are just brutal and that final kilometre was really hard. In the end I did that last kilometre in 100 metre blocks, stopping between each to catch my breath, wait for the pain in the leg muscles to die down, and drop the heartrate.
But, damn, it felt good to get there under my own steam (eventually). I think it took me an hour and a half at an average of 9.1KPH.
After that came the well earned fast and furious descent through switchbacks and other exciting turns before making my way to Arrowtown for lunch. The last 5Km to Arrowtown is basically flat with a few minor hills on which my legs were definitely announcing their displeasure to the point where riding in the afternoon seemed ill-advised.
A pleasant picnic lunch in the sun was then followed by a bit of a wander through Arrowtown including a brief look at the Chinese settlement from the Gold Rush era.
Then it was into the bus for the drive to Queenstown. Once there I took care of some camera necessities and booked a Dart River Jetboat safari for the "rest" day tomorrow. :)
And now for some stats:
On Tuesday we'll be heading towards Milford Sound and again limitations on geography will create very similar rides