The rows of orchards and vineyards blur as we pedal with excitement and speed. Small stones fling up in the air and ping off our wheel rims awakening the sleeping insects.
The sunny skies have dried the earth and the grasses are tinged yellow as we cycle further into the quiet depths of the landscape, with hidden handfuls of wild flowers wrapping themselves like colourful ribbons through the tarnished grass. We pause to peek into the cheerful remains of the Galloway railway station, the quaint ladies waiting room.
A gentle head-on breeze begins to blow as we push ourselves up the first incline… it helps to cool us down. A rocky landscape looms out of the ground and the rolling landscape below makes the small climb worth it.
The head wind picks itself up and suddenly begins to blow relentlessly as we descend onto the flat. Our speed drops dramatically.
Each push of the pedal is an effort and the leg muscles begin to moan and groan. This is definitely the craziest head wind I have ever experienced on a bicycle. Like roman gladiators battling with lions we push on and battle furiously
Eventually the beloved mum becomes exhausted and needs a rest. While we wait for her to get her breath back the boyfriend finds a piece of plastic rope in the grass. He cleverly ties his bike to his mums bike and bravely tows her all the way to the rustic Chatto Creek Tavern!
Other cyclists passing us find this scene rather amusing and by the time we reach the pub we find we have become the talk of the day. We enjoy a bite to eat, a spot of drink and the chance to send a bit of friendly post from New Zealand’s smallest post office!
The long gravel road guides us deeper into the Otago landscape. The lemon coloured grass blankets the rolling hills while the green pastures below are consumed greedily by contented sheep.
The wind has finally has returned to a small breeze yet the boyfriend happily continues to tow his beloved mum onwards to the tiny town of Omakau where we take a detour – A 6km round trip to the historic gold mining settlement of Ophir.
We whizz over the impressive Daniel O’Connell suspension bridge spanning the beautiful Manuherikia River. Built in 1880, it is one of the last surviving suspension bridges in Central Otago.
Back on the main trail and the dust whips up behind our wheels. The evening sun warms our backs as we pedal through green pastures, over bumpy cattle stops and are stopped by a couple of squealing pigs wanting to make friends!
The night sky begins to glows red as we pedal into the proud township of Lauder. We discover our accommodation is fully booked, but our hosts give us an entire house next door for the night?
We spend the evening enjoying the jolly hospitality at the Lauder Pub while filling our hungry stomachs and looking forward to day two…