Franz Josef to Lake Paringa

Day ten


Best sleep with dreamy shadows of cold crags and persistent passes in the back of my mind. I’ve been this way before and remember the three nasty pinches out of Franz we need to navigate to get to the deep of South Westland. I slept in a bit (for obvious reasons).


We packed (late), ate daring doo and hit the road, making initial steady pace uphill towards the first shop 1.5 km from our start. “Great effort so far Horse, cup of tea?”. We felt all a bit Ponsonby as it wasn’t really the bike adventure we had imagined in braver days, but we both needed a big cup of procrastination to start the day.

“Another tea Horse?”

After one more we saddled up, rolled along Fox glacier highway past a swarm of coffee infused pom-pommed Ya-ya’s cramming onto a bus for a day of mild adventure! We crossed the bridge over the Waiho and headed for the first of three climbs. It’s not that I’m adverse to going up… It’s just that inevitably it results in going down with more going up beyond that.

So up, down, up, down, up, and… screaming like men possessed we went down. All froth, mayhem and heaving on his handles Horse yelled “Cuppa?” Convinced we pulled into Fox for a fill-up.

The sedate of South Westland

“So that was it then?” Said Horse. “Yip” I responded. He nodded and took another sip. Peering out over his darjeeling with a cold thousand yard stare at another swarm of chattering pom-pommed Ya-ya’s this side of the three passes. “Better go then.” He muttered. I looked at him and nodded my head in agreement.

img_1615Quietly getting back on the bikes. “Due south Horse, due south”.

We rolled onto Jacobs river, then the queens of ice cream at the Bruce Bay before settling down for a crammed night at Lake Paringa. Resuscitated with generous libations from Dan and Sharon from Nelson.

Dan’s a mad keen fisherman, Horse was in his element. I ate to the grumble and splashy murmur of fish tales and trout. Legend Mr Dan.

Today’s top track: Sufjan Stevens – Sister

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