Roaring Forties

Guess where we are? The southernmost and westernmost city in New Zealand – Invercargill! We are at 46°24’36″S, 168°22’12″E and luckily we are traveling East along the southern coast of New Zealand so the roaring forties are working to our advantage. We currently have 15 hours of light in which to cycle from dawn to dusk in Invercargill.

Here I am having a delicious peanut butter sandwich on a mountain side.

On the way southward the landscape transitioned from the mountains of Fiordland National Park to rolling farmland. Here we are in the transition zone with the Fiordland mountains in the background and millions of sheep along the road.

We stopped off at Lake Manapouri along the edge of Fiordland National Park – it is known as one of New Zealand’s most beautiful!

I attempt to fix my helmet-hair for a glamour shot:

I almost forgot to retrieve my helmet from the beach. Luckily Jamie noticed it was missing before we started off again:

Jamie, also known as ‘Mr. Safety’, found some exciting road side treasures recently. Two neon orange flags that must have fallen off passing trucks! Our bikes are now equipped with orange safety flags in the back to help lazy motorists spot us. My Safety flag is plain old neon orange, but Jamie’s is a bit more exciting. It warns: “Don’t Spread Waterweed!”

As we’ve been making our way south the weather has been getting colder and windier. It is easy to imagine the breeze is coming straight from Antarctica! We can hardly believe how close we are. The weather has also been gray and misty-rainy for the past few days which means our pictures aren’t turning out quite as well as usual. This photo of a cute cow is pretty good though!

I walk on an historic suspension bridge built in 1899 in the town of Clifden:

We found a free camping spot in the small town of Tuatapere. We like to save money by free camping, but when the weather is bad it is not very fun to cook your breakfast while sitting outside on the wet ground. We experimented with cooking our oatmeal from inside the tent. Don’t worry, Mr. Safety was very rigorous in his inspections to insure we didn’t burn the tent down or asphyxiate ourselves!

Jamie was very excited about this picture he took of himself in a mirror alongside the road. If you look closely you can see him, but the misty gray weather foiled his plans for winning any photo contests:

We reach the southern coast at last!

Every once in a great while we see gigantic bulls in fields on the side of the road. Usually we see lots of boring steers, so we get very excited about the novelty of a new type of farm animal. You would not believe how HUGE these things are. The one was the size of a small car and had to have weighed at least 2000 lbs. Look at the giant hole he dug in the ground next to him.

The winds on the southern coast are very strong. It was an interesting sight to turn around and look back at the last few kilometers and realize that every living growing thing was so warped by the wind.

In other exciting news: Jamie’s beard is going to get shaved off very soon in preparation for visa photos needed to gain entry into southeast Asia! We can’t have him looking like a scary hippie when we’re asking for a tourist visa.

The town of Colac Bay is popular for surfing. Sam, we took a picture of this giant surfing statue for you:

In the town of Riverton we noticed this strange house. Look closely at the front of the house where the address usually goes. What kind of weirdo lives here?

9 Responses to “Roaring Forties”

  1. Rob Thomson Says:

    I don’t mean to spoil your excitement, Sarah, but I looked nothing like my passport photo for the first half of my trip so far. The great shaggy beard made me look like a middle eastern terrorist, and I had no problems.

    Save the beard!

    Actually, no I can’t talk. I take it all back.

    My beard is now gone. Taken to a few days ago by a Turkish barber in a frenzy of clippers and cut throat razors…

    Enjoy Invers. My birthplace!

  2. Jared Yeater Says:

    I will admit, I may stop reading if Jamie is sans beard.

  3. Dad Says:

    Yea vs. Nay
    Should Jamie keep the hippie beard?
    I vote Yea.
    Not one Nay.
    The Yea’s have it.
    Motioned passed.
    Jamie keeps the beard.
    Gavel slams!

  4. Erin & Steven Erck Says:

    Keep the beard, we like it! Although he is resembling a squirell, just a bit.

  5. John Erck Says:

    If Jamie cuts his beard then he won’t remind me of a red squirrel and I’ve always liked being reminded of a red squirrel each time I get to see a new picture of him. Please, keep this in mind before you make any rash decisions.

  6. John Erck Says:

    Brian – Please tell me you got a chance to see this video Make sure you have your volume turned up so you can get the full effect.

    The first picture of the wind blown trees is awesome! You guys should load your bikes on a boat and sail to your next destination.

  7. Brian Says:

    I am definitely voting for Jamie to shave it off. Sorry guys, but I have to voice my honest opinion here. You know it smells, poor sarah! Vote to chop it off, for sarah!

    John-the video is awesome.

  8. Brian Says:

    ok, john this is the last one…

  9. John Erck Says:

    Amazing. Good work Brian.

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