Take the Scenic Route

Monday, September 26, 2005

Waipara II

Better write this before it goes completely stale. Following our night in the guardsvan, and a delicious breakfast, I got about assembling the bikes. Towbars are expensive (c$300), so I've never quite got round to getting one, and the wanky roof-rack bike holders are no cheaper, so they were in bits in the boot. We then set off for a little ride around Waipara. Ideal really, as it is (like most of Canterbury) rather flat.

Our first stop was Athena Olive Grove, where we picked up some subtley lemon-infused olive oil. The road to there runs parallel with the Weka Pass Railway line [1]. Being a designated sunday, the Express was all fired-up, and we saw it come flying past as we rolled back toward the village.

We then went on to visit Torlesse, and then had a slightly more energetic ride up to Waipara Springs. On the way, we passed a small cemetery, with an oddly ornate gate thing, which rather reminded me of Sutton's "Norwester in the cemetery". Our last stop was at Mt Cass, and we then had some lunch in the grass, enjoying the warmth of the sun and light drunkeness. The pick of the wines tasted was the Black Estate Young Vines Pinot noir. Mmmmmmm. Derishous

[1] The Weka Pass Railway is the remains of a branch railway line that ran inland to Waikari, and on past Culverden to the Red Post. Originally, there had been some thought that they would continue it on roughly along the Inland Kaikoura Road (well worth the trip) to Kaikoura, and that it would be the main trunk line. However, the coastal railway backers won through in the end, and so there was quite a long branch line going nowhere much. It was used for the train scenes in Snakeskin, one of the few bits not filmed around Methven.


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