after two days on gravel it was a nice change to ride on a sealed road again. just at the junction for the von river road we met a swedish couple who sailed in fourteen month from their home to new zealand and found out about the best way to see the country and switched to bicycles. a very inspiring story.
after the decision to go all the way to the south, leaving out milford sound was another change i made. we had another long day of cycling until we stopped at the clifden suspension bridge campsite. the district of southland has a list on their homepage with spots for freedom camping. like the one at the aparima bridge reserve near thornbury where we stay the next night. after we pitched our tents we lay in the shallow water of the river and let the current wash away the dust from the road and later had a glass of wine with our dinner and went to bed rather late.
we only passed through invercargill as jens and laurence wanted to get to bluff, the southern end of state highway one. as they have been already at cape reinga, the very northern end of the road. we stayed at the bluff campground, a nice district run campsite with honesty system which is rare for such a place with all the amenities. we stayed an extra day as it was raining and our legs needed a rest day before retracing our steps to invercargill. we all had some things to organize and to do some shopping. and as we’d all seen the movie “the world’s fastest indian” with anthony hopkins playing burt munro, we had a look at the original motorbike and the replica which was used while filming.