Day 8 - Haast to Makarora
I was mentally preparing myself for the day ahead. Not knowing what to expect, I expected the worst. Long distances, steep inclines, old weather and a hard day. I was really feeling the cold today and had double gloves on with all my layers. I wasn’t able to get into my rhythm, even after 45kms of rolling hills and valleys and aw-inspiring views along the Haast River.
Every corner bought a new mountain and even more extreme scenery. Once the climb up towards Haast Pass came into sight I decided to break and refuel for the unknown ahead. Dylan was in the zone and continued on ahead of me with plans to meet on the other side. I took my time and unfortunately has to push up some of the 14% gradient. After 10kms I made the summit. I had such and unexpected feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment. I rode the hills down with a big smile.
After I met back up with Dylan we continued on into Otago and stopped for supplies. 18kms later and a second big day in a row we found without a doubt the most incredible campsite in New Zealand. We had reached the northern point of Lake Wanaka, a lake which would see us reach the town of Wanaka on the southern point of the lake in two days time. The view from our camp was breathtaking. Snowcapped mountains on your left and right, a purple/orange sunset and calm blue waters made for a relaxing evening and good nights sleep.
Rian at the bottom of the Haast pass, ready to climb.
The Haast Valley, around every corner we have view like this. Amazing.
The top of the Pass
Just before the summit, scenery is the best!
This photo was taken after the first really steep incline looking back. These photos never really do it justice, the angle would have to be 16% easy.
Looking further up the range.
Lake Wanaka, our camp spot for the night.
Our camp setup, this was a designated campsite but the never have any rubbish bins around. We just kept all our rubbish until the next town.