A cool cloudy morning and another 8am ish start due to everyone waking very early . With the prospect of a big climb ahead – the infamous Haast pass from the more difficult side – I elected to start out solo. An added bonus is the joy of managing your own pace and enjoying the spectacular vista as the route winds it’s way up the Haast river. Prolonged concentration of Rogers’s and Ali’s quivering sphincters in tight pace line is great for speed – terrible for appreciation of the wonderful scenery that abounds here.
after about 45 Kms the route abruptly goes straight up – very steep grades of 9 – 14% made for serious effort and had me weaving from side to side on the steepest pitches. Regrouped with Ali and after a short wait …Roger – then on the last gentle inclines to the top of the pass 562 metres. A great descent followed plunging down towards lake Wanaka and our accommodation for the evening at a place called Makarora.
nice place – the homestead – a big house with plenty of rooms – one each so a more pleasant sleep should be a possibility tonight. Rod did a great job of finding this place and doing a deal that made it affordable – beating a poor old lady down on her price.