Tahakopa Valley

Going Nowhere Slowly – A Micro Journey
  • Owaka 9th April 2014
I start the day with a dutiful photo outside the The Catlins YHA. Home for the last five months.

The Catlins YHA

Over that time I’ve photographed well over thirty cyclists as they’ve passed through, now it was my turn. At last!
Catlins Lake
As usual, I’m carrying far too much food for three days. Not one to go hungry me and I might well be hauling too many clothes too!

I have read somewhere: when packing for your trip, you tend to carry your insecurities. Judging by my panniers, I must be neurotic!
Tawanui Valley
Not far out-of-town I hit my first and only BiG climb of the day. I say BiG… OK, it only took thirty minutes. But, considering I’ve not ridden a fully ladened bicycle for twelve months, it might’ve well been a dam mountain!
Back country backpackers
But, neither-less it went rather well and the ol’pins were feeling fine.
I like to cycle with an abundance of sugary sweets on hand. Whatever form they may take!
Energy boosters!
My map shows forestry land in lighter green. This means through experience I can sneak into and stealth camp to my heart’s content.
Eight kilometres up from the settlement of  Tahakopa, and a very-easy-cycle-gravel-road I notice my chance for a spot of wild camping. Gate: no lock, forestry land, jobs a good’n. In I go.
No one sees me enter, no one will know I’m there!
Out of sight, out of mind camping (2)
Soon though I feel that all familiar bite… bloody hell, sandflies. I’d so forgotten about them. OH eck!
Last year cycling up the West Coast of New Zealand I endured sandflies for three weeks as I wild camped all the way up. I was emotionally scarred!
I pitch my tent for my two nights stay.
Tahakopa River.
So nice to be away from humanity for a bit.
I spend the next day exploring like a child of eight within his own Narnia.
Checking out toadstools/fungi, looking under rocks for creepy-crawlies, walking the banks of the Tahakopa River, listening to birds and just soaking up the pure bliss of nature…  Happy Days!
Most woods I’ve encountered in New Zealand has some form of pest control. Shame there’s none for sandflies!
Sandfly country
My evening meal is prepared early, and probably contains a waif of sandflies to-boot. And, yes, I need a haircut!
Dinner prep
The next days cycle back to Owaka looks to be a good’n.
Tahakopa Valley
I cycle a longer route back, so as to not repeat the same road I tracked out on.
The Road
Putting my new Click-Stand to good use.
The fine gravel road leading up to to Maclennan Hill was a good climb for me with my not-so-laden-touring-legs! 
Maclennan Hill
The sun stays out, and it’s a glorious day on the bicycle. Life’s Simple, Life’s Good.
The Catllins Lake
Sweat’n’short as any ‘Micro Journey’ should be.Catlins River Bridge
The nice thing about a ‘Micro Journey’ or more commonly known as a ‘Micro Adventure’ you know it’s not long before one’s enjoying the delights of a piping hot shower. 
More importantly, this was my first ladened outing on my new Thorn Sherpa. SWEET!
Thank you to Thorn Cycles for a cracking frame.
  • Owaka 11th April 2014
Wild/stealth camping spots can be viewed when zooming in on each location. Also, click on the icon for a photo and another click will open it up in Flickr.


You can click on each photo in this the post for an enhanced Flickr view or the above Flickr slideshow for further photos for this post.



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