Sunday, 6 December 2009
Touring NZ's South Island...
One of my Blackbird-owning mates, John Pritchard, suggested a 2 week tour of the South Island in 2007 and was just about flattened in the rush! John's partner Karen also wanted to come as did Jennie but not on the back of the bikes. This was happily resolved by Karen and Jennie sharing the driving of J&K's people-mover loaded up with luggage whilst John, Martin Blandford, Dave Easey and me were free to misbehave on our Blackbirds, meeting the girls at various locations for lunch and in the evenings!
Overseas riders who visit the south island say that it's the best riding in the world with challenging roads and stunning scenery. Don't think there would be many Kiwis who disagree either! As well as riding through all the fantastic mountain passes, we covered a few touristy things too - whale and dolphin watching at Kaikoura, Jet-boating and helicopter glacier flights near Wanaka and the famous Milford sound to name just a few. I had an alternator failure part-way through the holiday but charging up 2 batteries overnight and running total loss ignition was a great way of getting round the problem.
There are far too many great pictures to post so here's a very small selection. Also, here are to links to YouTube videos of parts of our tour: (best watched in the High Quality option).
It was a breathtaking holiday and we'd all do it again tomorrow. We were fortunate to get back to our homes in the northern half of the north island when we did as the following day, State Highway 1 was closed for much of the day as a precaution when the active volcano, Mt Ruapehu, finally discharged millions of cubic metres of lahar from its crater. What an exciting place we live in!!!