Just a short 50km to Cochrane, we think, be there by lunchtime – yeah right..
Today we followed the river Baker from it’s birth in Lago Betrand. Until the major confluence with the milky drainage of the Nef Glacier, the Baker is a royal blue. We walked down to the amazing confluence – a huge version of where the Clutha meets the Kawarau (pre dam days).
In fact today we are in very similar but many times larger version of the Kawarau pre dam. Hence many anti-dam bill boards line the road. This gorge of the River Baker would be a prime candidate for a dam and the locals are not going to give in without a fight.
The road again is very undulating and we strike our steepest section of the trip – quote Alan as he passes the ‘change into first gear´ sign very shortly after pushing his bike – “what does that sign mean”
After our lunch beak (very short of our destination) we get into horribly corrugated, hilly and head wind country and things slow right down – down to 5km/hr and we were riding our bikes at the time.
Weather deteriorated coming into Cochrane but nothing a churasco (sandwhich, dinner plate size, meat snitzel, tomato and avocado) couldn’t fix. The churasco man was excited to meet us as he had spent a year in NZ in his youth.
We even found a welder man, fixed the bike and camped up at the town campsite.