NZ warm down – day 15
Rakaia to Little River
84km, 120m ascent
The owner of the campsite lived up to his word and gave me a lift across the long SH1 bridge. I was very grateful as it would have been horrendous to cycle over – a bit like going on a narrow version of the M1! Once he had dropped me off, it was fast, flat and straight roads to Leeston – a smart looking town by Kiwi standards – where I stopped to restock food supplies and take advantage of the free wi-fi at the library!
The riding didn’t really get any more exciting after this, but at least it was on small back roads that were pretty quiet. I found a nice spot next to the river for morning tea.
Slowly from here, the mountains of the Banks Peninsula (my destination) started to come into view. I wondered if I had made a mistake in taking these on for the end of my route! They looked massive and steep!
I soon joined yet another rail trail. This time the Little River rail trail which runs from central Christchurch to Little River – the first town on the Banks Peninsula. As a rail trail should be, it was flat and straight! The route ran between the mountains on one side and Lake Ellesmere on the other.
The views to the sea and the estuary mouth were great. It had an English Lake District feel about it.
I arrived in Little River parched! It had been a hot day and the head wind had steadily increased through the day. I celebrated with an ice cream and massive, cold iced tea!
I located the only campsite in the valley – it was 5km up a side road. Not great news when you’re already tired! However when I got there it was worth it! A great little spot next to a stream, with bush walks, great views and even (bizarrely) the film set from the movie The Stolen.