Start: Ashburton Holiday Park
Check out the rest of the trip here!
New Years Eve! I was planning on spending it in Christchurch, the largest city on the south island, and second largest city in the country. Despite all my troubles and missed mileage goals, it looked like I was going to make it for a New Years celebration and get a chance to rest a bit.
I had originally planned on riding some roads parallel to the main highway of the south island. As it turned out, those side roads were loose, chunky gravel. I endured an hour or two of it before I crashed. I hit a really deep spot and went down on my elbow and hip. Slightly bruised, but ok, I made the decision to take the main highway. This was smooth sailing despite the large trucks and areas with not much shoulder. I cycled into the outskirts of Christchurch in the early afternoon and stopped at what I took for their version of a costco type place? At any rate, they had amazing looking produce. I would be staying at a hostel so I loaded up on potatoes and green beans and headed to my accommodation.
I got checked in to my room and met my bunk-mates. The three of them were was France and backpacking around New Zealand and Australia. They were not very talkative and kept to themselves, so I eventually ventured into the common area. There I saw a table of 18ish year old German travelers who were already getting hammered. Great. I thought I had picked a non-party hostel. There was another guy cooking, so I started working around him. Turns out he was also named David and was a professional chef back in Canada! Not only that, but he was doing his own Bicycle tour in the other direction. We quickly became friends. Another couple of guys, Tobias from Germany and Lucas from Switzerland joined us. We all went out to the bars, bought too many rounds of drinks for each other, and had an exceptional New Years. The next day we would be going our separate and hungover ways, but for this night we were an inseparable crew. I will leave you with this amazing picture from the next day. Too bad Lucas and Tobias did not know who Bill Cosby was when they picked out a rental car for their climbing trip.