Franklin to Te Anau, New Zealand

Distance: 116 miles
Time on bike: 2.5 hours

It’s raining lightly on the tent so there’s not much enthusiasm for jumping out of bed. After a slow get together, pack up and light breakfast we decide to get on our way.

The rain is very light, but we only ride down the road before Carl decides to pop into the Queenstown Motorcycles shop to replace the rear tyre on his bike. We could possibly squeeze a few more miles out of the remaining rubber, but it makes sense to do the replacement while the weather is like this and there’s a place which has a tyre in stock. We call a few other shops in other towns to make sure the price is right before going ahead.

The girls in the shop are very friendly and share our enthusiasm for the journey we’ve made to get here. While the tyre is getting replaced we tell them a few of our stories from along the way and it sounds like they could be keen for doing something similar.

With the tyre replaced for a not too unreasonable £150 we get on our way. We fill up with petrol before leaving Queenstown and then hop into the Subway next door to grab a quick sandwich as it’s just gone midday.

We’re heading into fiordland today and our destination in Te Anau where we hope to be able to arrange a trip by kayak on some of the waters. Although the weather thankfully gives us a break and we’re spared from rain for most of the journey, the roads are wet and a bit boring to say the least.

It’s a one hundred mile ride which takes a couple of hours and our first port of call in Te Anau is the supermarket to stock up on a few supplies. We then call by one of the information offices and sadly find out that the better kayaking trips have stopped running, so we’re most likely to go on a boat rather than paddle ourselves. Some of the trips look promising, but we’ll see how the weather pans out before going ahead with a booking.

In the early evening we get sorted out with a cabin on a holiday park for £26 for the night, which makes camping at £14 for the night not really worth it. We then pop back into town to go to the local cinema to see the short film about Fiordland which is pretty stunning to watch. We even buy the DVD as it’s something that would be great to see again back home.

We then retire to the campsite to cook a little meal while watching Pretty Woman on the telly. The campsite has good hand dryers and even a hair dryer, so we take the opportunity to get the sleeping bag liners washed as well as a few clothes. The room again takes on the appearance of a steam room with all the clothes getting dried by the blasting hot air from the little drier.

We’re hoping for the weather to improve before we plan our next moves. But we’ll stick around in this part of the country for at least the next few days and keep our fingers crossed.

Jour 383 – Venredi 6 Mai 2011. De Franklin à Te Anau, Nouvelle-Zélande.

Distance: 186 km – Temps à moto: 2.5 heures

On se réveille au léger bruit de gouttes d’eau sur la toile de tente, et ca ne nous motive pas a sortir du lit, mais on arrive a nous motiver car on veut aller vers Te Anau. Carl a appelé quelques garages pour vérifier les prix de pneus, et celui du coin est le même prix, on décide donc de profiter de la pluie pour changer son pneu. On passe un long moment a discuter de voyages avec les filles du garage qui sont super sympas, elles font aussi de la moto et ont bien envie de faire un voyage comme nous.

Vers midi, après un sandwish, on prend donc la route vers Te Anau, il fait bien gris, mais il ne pleut presque pas, avec un peu de chance ça va bientôt s’éclaircir.

En arrivant a Te Anau, on passe au super marche faire quelques courses, on passe dans une centre d’information ou on apprend qu’il n’est pas possible de louer de Kayaks sur les Fiords, et la seule chose possible est un tour en kayak guidé de 4 heures qui est hors de prix… on ira donc peut être faire un petit tour en bateau, mais on ne fera pas de kayak ici.

Quand on arrive au camping, la cabine avec chauffage n’est pas beaucoup plus chère que le camping, on décide donc d’en prendre une, le lit est quand même plus confortable que la tente !

Ce soir, on a entendu parler d’un gars du coin qui a fait un film sur la region des Fiords, et qui a construit un cinema dans le village pour pouvoir le montrer aux touristes, c’est un film de 35 minutes, on va donc le voir, et en sortant on décide de prendre le DVD, surtout parce qu’on discutre un moment avec un couple qui a fait des marches dans le coin et qui nous disent d’en faire autant car, même si le temps n’est pas super, c’est une region impressionnante.

On rentre ensuite à notre cabine et on mange un morceau en regardant le film ‘Pretty Woman’.