Oh my goodness! That was very hard. Not only the distance, but hilly too. We had quite a high pass to go over, some long straight roads running alongside the sea with a strong on-shore breezes and then some idiot decided they needed to put in a 400m long hill right before the exit to Kaikoura. I had already dug deep to get through the last 10 miles thinking of the positive fact that it was flat, when I saw the hill I nearly cried.
Still, we did make it, and it was very rewarding to do so. Obviously quite a few vehicles passed us along the way, and some people mentioned to us as we rode into town, saying that they'd seen us climbing and weren't we mad.
It took us ages to get going this morning, mainly because we waited for the tent to dry out from dew and condensation. We actually had quite an early breakfast of eggs on toast, which probably turned out to be a mistake, because by the time we set off at 11 we were probably running on empty.
We really wanted to go and see the Cathedral Cliffs just 5 miles east of Cheviot, but unfortunately I didn't think it was a good idea to put the extra (hilly) miles on to the already long ride. We thought about taking an extra night to take them in, but in the end decided against it. Shame.
Last night was a complete nightmare again, from a noise point of view. We slept pretty well until two, and then we went for a loo visit. Big mistake, obviously woke the chooks, and the cockerel started cockle-doodle-dooing and didn't shut up for the rest of the night. That set the sheep off too, and by 4 am all the garden birds were joining in.
Fortunately as we were knackered, it didn't seem to have much affect on us, but it was really quite funny.
It was really hot cycling weather today. Some wind, mostly in the wrong direction, or when we were struggling up a hill. We also suffered from a lack of water. Obviously we don't want to be carrying gallons of water with us. We both have two 650ml (12oz) water bottles which start out full, and then we stop along the way and buy bottled water to top them up. Unfortunately yesterday we were given some duff information on when the next watering hole was and we ended up having to do 27 miles, over some very hilly terrain, without water – not a good idea in the heat!
Kaikoura is a lovely small town, with a small supermarket, a butchers, a good selection of restaurants and bars and some sports and tourist shops. It's also famous for it's whale watching. The ocean floor drops very dramatically just off the shore and is apparently very rich in nutrients so there are lots of whales, seals and dolphins to see.
We've also picked a corker of a campsite this time. Nice location and fantastic facilities. Bit pricey at thirty pounds for a tent site, but well worth it. Baking hot shower, really high pressure.
Camp place is right by a small stream and about 15 meters from a field of sheep – I hope they're quieter than last nights'!