Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Otago Central Rail Trail.

____Down to the majestic Dunedin railway station bright and early for what was claimed to be one of the worlds greatest railway journeys. A trip on the Taieri Gorge Railway to the village of Pukerangi, high in the Otago interior. It was very scenic, through the wilderness country as the tracks followed the river; the engineering feats to create the route in the late 1800’s demand admiration, but I think claiming the line as a world great is a bit optimistic. At Pukerangi, I was back on two wheels in splendid isolation, high in pastures full of sheep with weird shaped outcrops of schist rock. Twenty-two kilometres later ,I came to Middlemarch; the start of my journey on the Otago Central Rail Trail. I make camp at Blind Billy’s Campground, where it rains heavily all night.

____Rain all day which spoils an awesome ride along the old pathway of the tracks that are a continuation of the line that brought me up from Dunedin. It is hard packed gravel which seems to drain remarkably well as there are few puddles and very little mud. It’s a busy trail with a lot of cycle tour companies doing packages for tourists; not many kitted out for carrying luggage; as many have their bags transported for them. A cup of tea at the old station house at Hyde and onto overnight accommodation at The Old PO Backpackers at Ranfurly.

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