More straight roads and rail trails

NZ warm down – day 15

Rakaia to Little River

84km, 120m ascent

Day15Map

Day15Elevation

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.

Coes Ford – a nice spot for a cuppa!

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!

Banks Peninsula kept getting larger!

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.

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Little River Rail trail
Riding the Little River trail with Banks Peninsula looming in the background!
Lake Ellesmere

The views to the sea and the estuary mouth were great.  It had an English Lake District feel about it.

Beach at Birdings Flat
View across Lake Forsyth
The Little River trail alongside Lake Forsyth
View across Lake Forsyth
Lake Forsyth

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.

View from the campsite

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