BAC New Zealand - 2015
February 21 - Haast to Makarora
The breakfast area was filled by Chinese tourists. They had the early shift with food cooked for their culture. Eggs and bacon came out for our shift at 7:00. We have seen lots of bus loads of families from mainland China. We are not sure that it is because of the Chinese New Year or that the middle class in China is wealthy enough for foreign travel. In any case, it was nice to see them.
Our ride today was along the Haast River and up and over Haast Pass. It took us 50kms to get to the base of the pass and then we had a very steep ascent to the first summit. I have very low gears and I was still struggling. Most of our riders were able to finish the climb, but a few had to get motorized assist from the van. Those who made it were rewarded with a nice 15km descent.
I rode solo today. I needed to relax at my own pace to make sure that I could get over the pass and not embarras myself by walking. The river was on our left. Cliffs and heavily forested woodlands were on our right. The mountains were in the background. The scenery was beautiful.
I reached the Makarora Tourist Centre around 12:30. Our room was not ready so I camped out in the café with most of our group. I had a long black coffee and a fruit muffin with white chocolate along with my PB&J sandwich.
All of us are staying in individual A-frame cabins. Ann and I have a queen bed and two singles. We also have a kitchen and a small bathroom with a shower. This is the only lodging within several kilometers. For food we have to rely on its cafe. After our social hour in a common area, we walked to the cafe for a buffet dinner. I am not going to comment on the food because some of it I didn't recognize.