Central Otago is in the South of the South island, where it is much more flat with a nice country feel. Some open roads were dark and brooding while others were bright and sun kissed. The sun was nice and warm as we drove in, shining over rusted tractors and farm equipment, and highlighting the vibrant yellows and oranges of the trees. We stayed in an old historic miner’s hotel for the night, which was so rustic. The next morning we got up early to bike the Otago Rail Trail. I was so excited to see blue skies when I woke up in the morning!
The long bike ride allowed us to take full advantage of the sunshine. The 150 km trail is absolutely gorgeous . . . and the sun felt so nice on my arms and cheeks. As you know well by now, I am a huge lover of autumn and its colours, and this bike ride highlighted it beautifully. It was amazing – the country feel, the warmth, the vibrancy, the sound of gravel beneath my bike tires . . .
It was a very challenging ride. At first I thought the biking would be a breeze, but it was not an easy path. The trail was on a constant gradual incline and it was full of gravel and rocks that my tires would keep hitting and slowing down on. An insane lower body work out. My knees were so, so sore the next day. I really worked it! We were one of the first people to finish. Instead of stopping at the pub along the way to have lunch we kept motoring on.
There were so many sheep along the way, and we watched herds being rounded up by dogs. Those sheep run fast! And they also jump as they run! There was an interesting looking sheep that had zebra stripes. I made friends with one really pretty freshly shaved sheep. Definitely had to be a she. Along with sheep there were tons of cattle. The animals would just stare curiously at bikers passing by.
I can’t stress enough how lovely the South island is in the autumn . . . aside from the rain. Although the rain had to do with the end of a 5 month record breaking drought than it simply being autumn!