Jan 30th, Tekapo, New Zealand

I got a late start out of Geraldine (1/29), but this gave me a chance to talk with Peter Aldous, a local astronomer, about JWST. Peter has a very impressive amateur observatory that he makes available for public use. He was up until 1 AM the previous night, with a group of tourists looking at the Milky Way. He is also looking for supernova, and has discovered several.

Peter Aldous, local astronomer

10 miles into the ride, I passed a place with a sign that read, “Brewery Café,” which turned out to be exactly what it said it was. I didn’t dare have any beer so early in the day, and with all of the hills in front of me, but I took a bottle along for later (OK, I had just a taste of their IPA). I chose the “Star Gazer” ale. It had a hefeweizen feel to it, but it was very good.

Southern-most brewery so far.

The day proved to be very hot, and I had a hard time getting hydrated. The hills and the heat really took a toll on me, and I started feeling quite sick (stomach). That tends to happen to me when I push myself hard in the heat–the main reason I am in New Zealand instead of Australia. I was really surprised by this sudden burst of heat. It was even somewhat overcast

Overcast as I rode through the farmlands.

Because of the fatigue, I decided to stop early in the town of Fairlie, making the jaunt to Tekapo a two-day ride instead of the single day I had planned. There were several other cyclists who made the same choice, and I had a lot of company in the campground. When I checked into the campground, I paid for a GByte of internet and explained to the host that I wanted to watch Dr. Who, since we can’t get that on-demand anymore in the USA. His response was something like, “Now what’s that about? No Dr. Who? Why, I’d figure with Donald Trump as president, you folks ought to be able to have pretty much whatever you want!”
I got on the road today (1/30) to finish up the ride to Lake Tekapo. It rained a bit last night, and the weather turned cold. The clouds did not boil off till mid afternoon.

How could they know?

On the way, I passed this neat little spot on the road that had a lot of antique stuff, and this classic Chevy with its original paint job. You can’t see it in the photo, but this car had black California plates on it!

Classic Chevy

Later I passed this monument which was erected 100 years ago. It reads, “O ye who enter the portals of the MacKenzie to found homes, take the word of a child of the misty gorges, and plant forest-trees for your lives. So shall your mountain facings and river flats be preserved to your children’s children and for evermore.”

100-year old monument

The mountains in the distance were spectacular, and what forrests remain are certainly worth preserving.

And all will turn To silver glass, A light on the water, All Souls pass

This was the driest part of New Zealand that I have experienced yet. It could easily be Eastern Colorado or Wyoming.

Dry grass lands

My friend, Thad Walker, has put me in contact with some people in the Physics Department at the university in Dunedin, so I will get to give one more presentation before leaving this fine country! Tomorrow should be an easy ride, with good tailwinds, to the town of Omarama. I will try to post an entry there.
Cheers
Scott
Scott

3 Responses to “Jan 30th, Tekapo, New Zealand

  • Kathy Clucas
    8 months ago

    I imagine seeing that old Chevy with California plates made you think of home! No coincidence there🕊. Love you!

  • Hey Scott! Where’s that quote from (And all will turn to silver glass, a light on water, all souls pass)? It’s beautiful!

    • scott acton
      8 months ago

      Hi Cindy! It’s the same place where we get the phrase,

      “What can you see, on the horizon? Why do the white gulls call? Across the sea, a pale moon rises. The ships have come to carry you home.”

      It’s the theme song from the Lord of the Rings. “Into the West,” I think it is called.

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