At 12 we were given our orders by Boss Rusty (do not fall off - or words to that effect) and sent on our merry way.
First off was to find the road that allows you to bypass Invercargil and pop back out on SH1 at Edendale. I still don't think that I've quite got this right but the GPS eventually got us to Edendale and back into SH1 traffic. Nearing Mataura we got a few bits of rain but this was to be all we saw for the whole day - fantastic!
Just North of Gore we turned off SH1 to begin our run up the centre of the Island. Off the main road there was a lot less traffic and we were able to maintain a good pace quite easily. There's also some great country to see and I particularly liked Roxburgh to Alexandra - a very pretty valley and the rock formations are pretty impressive.
In Alex we took a turn-off through Earnscleugh road which completely avoided the township and took us back onto the main road at Clyde - a great short-cut. From Clyde we cruised on into Cromwell for our first fuel stop. Tanks full we were off again and back up to our cruising pace. We had a little scare just out of Tarras where a cop was hiding in a shady spot - luckily we were being so well behaved...
Next up was the Lindis Pass, Omarama, Twizel, Tekapo, Fairlie and Geraldine for our second fuel stop. This is great country with some good riding mixed in with some longer, straighter and slightly boring roads. One thing that never changes is the fantastic scenery though so there is plenty to look at.
In Geraldine we gassed up and said good-bye to Monie and Meanie who were going through to Christchurch for the night and Mark, Steve and myself made for the inland scenic route. This route consists of huge straights with only the odd corner to make sure that don't forget how to go around corners. It was after 6pm by now and a little cooler so the riding conditions were ideal and it was a very pleasant ride up the island.
In the end we made it into Cheviot at 8:30pm - just 8 and a half hours after leaving Bluff so had done very well. A quick bite to eat and it was time to call it a day.
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