28 Dec Southern Epicer: DAY 6: Cromwell to Christchurch- 450km
What a stunning day. The sun was out and we had blue skies. It was windy too, but you can’t have everything. We should have done Carricktown track and the Nevis today but decided that heading south would put us further from home and we felt like our reserves were starting to fade…did we mention that everything seems to hurt at the moment. Either this trip was way harder than anything we have previously done, or we have aged significantly in the last year or so. Think its a bit of both.
Cromwell will be a great point to pick up our original planned route at another time, possibly on our T700s that are arriving in late January.
We headed home on the main roads. Not a lot of roads in New Zealand, so not a lot of choices in getting back to Christchurch. Heaps of tourists and holiday makers on the road, and I’m sure we pissed off a few of them with our extra slow speeds. We had a bit of a headwind for the first half and the Groms were pinned at full throttle but not going terribly fast. We tried to be courteous and pulled over quite frequently. Had a couple of friendly toots and only one angry one. Seemed to be more vehicles going in the opposite direction, fortunately, I counted 23 vehicles in one long train. Once we got past Geraldine, the traffic dissipated completely until Christchurch.
Although it is the main road home, it is a stunning one. With sunny clear skies, we got particularly good views of Aoraki/Mt Cook with lake Pukaki in the foreground.
Looking out the window today, we are thinking we probably should have started our trip this week instead of last week. Weather looking much better, but hey that how things work out. We really challenged ourselves on this trip, and are quite pleased we got as far as we did even though it was only about a third of the route that we had originally planned. We need to plan these things better. We hope to pick up where we left off and complete some more legs. It will give us something to look forward to doing over the rest of the year.
Total Distance Traveled – 1473 km (915 mi)
Highest elevation – 1686m (xx ft)
Max Speed – 119km/h (74 mi/hr)
Avg Speed – 29km/hr (18 mi/hr)
Fuel Consumption – Varied between 31 km/l (73 mi/US gallon) and 46 km/l (108 mi/gallon)