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Southern Epicer: DAY 1: Christchurch to Ranfurly – 468km

Early start at 7am and off to Fairlie for the compulsory pie stop about three and a half hours later. Coincidentally that’s when the sun decided to try half-heartedly to peek out from behind the clouds.

After Fairlie we finally hit our first bit of gravel for the day. Hakataramea Pass Road. Fast hard-packed gravel through scenic hills. Lots of sheep about. Don’t know if it’s the knobblier mobber rear tyre or if we are just a little out of practice, but we both felt a little skittish on the gravel. Will see how we feel in a day or two.

As we dropped down into Kurow, we hit a wall of warm air and some blue sky, but it didn’t stick around for too long as we climbed up Danseys Pass. Danseys Pass is a favorite of ours, just lovely easy gravel road through the hills. I think we saw maybe two cars the entire time.

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We arrived in Naseby around 5pm. So 10 ish hours since leaving home to cover a mere 430km (267mi). We had intended to push on for another 40 km along a 4×4 track to overnight at a backcountry hut, but I was completely pooped, so we made the call to spend the night in relative luxury at a campsite in Ranfurly instead. Unusual for us, we also decided to go out to dinner at a local pub. Usually, we are the type to rock up at a campsite, eat a basic meal then straight to bed. We are glad we ate out at the Waipiata Hotel. Their burgers are both large and tasty.

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Distance: 460.47 kmMax Alt: 950 mMin Alt: 9 mClimb: 3265 mDescent: -2903 mAvg Speed: 60.28 km/hTime: 10:58:43


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