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Old 01-05-2012, 04:25 PM   #251
glitch
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Default Re: The Long-White-Cloud Spectacular__NZ South Island 2012

“You shoulda seen this, mate, I tellya...”










Back down again.









Back into the muck...












Heading north towards Sheffield and Oxford, skimming along the bottom edge of the Plains.













Going for some of those venison-pies (yayy!!) in Oxford, the maps come out again. Staying just up the road at the Camp in Ashley Gorge, we could give the Lees Valley a whirl this arvo.

Who wants, can stay behind and have a leisurely afternoon, who wants can jettison their luggage here....and we’re only a good hour away from Christchurch, should the weather turn crappy overnight....sounds like a plan.
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Old 01-05-2012, 04:28 PM   #252
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Default Re: The Long-White-Cloud Spectacular__NZ South Island 2012

All enquiries and bookings are made, off we go then...the Lees Valley Rd. shows to be a paltry 35k’s or so on Google maps, we sure have plenty of fuel for that.

Just off the main road and up the first hill....































The further up the valley we go, the stronger the feel gets that this certainly ISN’T a “little afternoon stroll”....but who the hell would want to quit the “path to paradise?”
It’s absolutely beautiful!!










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Old 01-05-2012, 04:30 PM   #253
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Default Re: The Long-White-Cloud Spectacular__NZ South Island 2012




















We’re at the 35km mark now...and going by feel and map, we aren’t even halfway through....and there’s supposed to be the Okuku River crossing somewhere, damn, I didn’t check the online flow-tables anymore!! Fat lot of good it does now, eh??
This thing can go ballistic within a few hours, rising from half a meter to flooding a 100m wide strip of valley-floor.











Ashley River Bridge








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Old 01-05-2012, 04:32 PM   #254
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Default Re: The Long-White-Cloud Spectacular__NZ South Island 2012

Let’s go and have a look...we’ve got just enough juice to make it back comfortably.













What a place for an afternoon nap, eh?







Checking things out....looks easy enough...if it wouldn’t be for that lose, deep base of fine pebbles right through the 2. part of the crossing.
The packed bikes just want to sink like rocks and stall...






























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Old 01-05-2012, 04:36 PM   #255
glitch
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Default Re: The Long-White-Cloud Spectacular__NZ South Island 2012

From here on in it’s a maze of tracks and roads, many of them new-ish and obviously serving the local logging industry, with the usual non-existent signage, arghhh...and we’re getting low on fuel, considering the blowout from the planned 35 to 70k’s thus far, with no end in immediate sight.


In the end we cross the path of some locals, and 15mins later “we’re out of the woods” and back amongst more major roads...the afternoon is getting on, too.

Back at “home base”, the school camp at Ashley Gorge.









No luxury here, but plenty of space. Looks like that Okuku River crossing not only produced some wet feet.









And plenty of dead flies, too.













Something’s brewing when Latte-Dave starts going walkabouts in his Kawasaki-sleeping bag.









Rob and I are off into town picking up the take-away...while the table is set in the dining hall of the school-camp... the bottles clink, the laughter roars into the tall, dark poplars, both Daves showing off again how they hit the Okuku...the sounds of happiness of our own little world.





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