Wedderburn to Omakau
Day 3 on the Otago Central Rail Trail. Wet and cold just like a winter ride at home. Wind was at our backs for the most part and there were two cafes on the route.
We hung out as long as we could at the Wedderburn Hotel not wanting to go out in the cold rain. Eventually we had to go. Of course it wasn't as bad once we got going. The first 3 miles was the last part of the climb. It was an easy grade but enough to get warmed up. Then it was downhill, still on railroad grade. We started passing riders going the other way who were having a much harder time than us, with the wind in their faces. We soon came to Oturehua where there is a wonderful cafe. It was packed with riders, especially around the wood stove, which we quickly gravitated towards. Nothing like a wood fire to dry you out when you're cold and wet. We could have stayed there all day, but after some coffee and biscuits it was time to start riding again.
We met some other touring cyclists going the other way on the next stretch. First some folks from Australia, and then a German couple Jelle had been riding with on the North Island. We wished we had more time to talk but standing around in the rain and wind was not much fun. So we rode on, but it was only another 20km to the next cafe in Lauder. So we stopped again for more hot coffee and some lunch. I really hope the bike tourism is enough to keep these places alive. The towns along this trail are tiny, and there us not much local economy except farming.
After lunch it was only another 7km to our hotel in Omakau. Another historic hotel modernized for the bike tourism. This one is quite fancy though.