Monday, November 2, 2009

Blackberries Please (NZ part 9)

(NZ part 1 here)

We spent only a little time at Lake Rotoroa, as beautiful as it is. We are getting into a groove and packing the gear and getting on the road seems to be what comes easiest to me these days. We start the day with a back road ride from Lake Rotoroa to Murchison - the Braeburn Road. It begins with a really tough uphill with very poor traction, but that is short and we quickly top out and head down into the watershed that leads into Murchison. The downhill is fast, but very demanding. It is bumpy, the traction has not improved much from the climb, and we cross the medium size stream four or more times. My arms and brain are tired by the time we reach the end of the downhill, but I have managed to avoid mishaps.

(Braeburn Road - Photo Dan Cantrell)

The road reminds me a great deal of a Vermont woods road, with it's trees forming a canopy over the road. As we pop out of into the open valley at the bottom we ride through a sheep farm I image could be one in Vermont a hundred years ago. Sometimes the landscape seems so managed here, but at other times I feel more remote than I ever have because the whole of the landscape is so rural.

We slowly ride down the dirt road, talking and stopping at the most prolific blackberry patches I have ever seen. The bushes practically line the road, so our progress is relaxed. We make camp on a sandy bank of the Buller River. I again try for the rising fish and they again take note that I am not a Kiwi and do not bite.

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