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14.03.2020 Alps to Ocean. Mount Cook Village is the starting point of one of New Zealand's 'Great Rides', the Alps to Ocean cycle trail. As we are generally heading down towards the southern coast of the island, this was the perfect route to take. However, on the first day we took an alternative way to Twizel, going down the road along Lake Pukaki. The reason was that doing the very first part of the official A2O requires a short helicopter flight across a river, and that does just not comply with our idea of simple travelling. In Twizel we replaced both of Addy's awfully worn-out tyres, which, thank God (and duct tape), had stuck with us until that point. We also got a second, gas-powered stove, and could barely stop each other from buying even more of the useful and quirky things the local hardware shop has to offer. We will also keep carrying our petulant little petrol stove with us and try to clean and fix it. With our new equipment, we were ready to take on the remaining 224 kilometres to Oamaru. And our verdict is that the A2O can indeed be called a great ride, as it keeps cyclists off the roads almost totally and its comfortable gravel tracks, most of them inaccessible to cars, wind though many different types of scenery. It was fascinating to see the big catchment lakes, dams and plants that help generate New Zealand's large quantities of hydropower. We also loved camping outside the historic Woolshed, which gave us an idea of how extensive sheep farming and shearing must have worked here in the past, and are still done in other places. With its peaceful remoteness, great view and natural water supply from a stream, the Woolshed might actually be our favorite NZ camping spot. Other highlights on the way were some Maori art on the shores of Lake Ohau and near Duntroon as well as the Elephant Rocks, which we had seen on TV only a couple of days before, as they make an appearance in the 'Chronicles of Narnia'. Yesterday, on our third day, we covered over 100 kilometres and reached Oamaru in the late evening, stopping in the harbour area for a quick 'finisher' photoshoot this morning. #scoutbound #nz #newzealand #alps2ocean #oamaru #worldbycycling #dpsg

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