biking the rail trail
Oct 28 - Nov 1, '04

(click on the first picture to get started; captions are at the bottom of each picture page)

After my first exam, I went on a 4-day bike trip with Hilary on the Central Otago Rail Trail.  To start the trip we took the Taieri Gorge Railway to near the start of the rail trail (which used to be the continuation of this very train line). There were lots of narrow tunnels...
...and towering trestles. Apparently this railroad cost something like $20 per inch in modern dollars.
The first day, we had to bike 15 km to the start of the rail trail, where we stayed the night in a cute little cabin place.  The next day it was pouring and we had to bike over 50 km and we were soaked and somewhat miserable and didn't take any pictures.  Eventually we arrived at "Peter's Farm Hostel" and collapsed in front of the warm fireplace.  Thankfully the next day was drier and shorter, though completely uphill, but we arrived at our destination early in the afternoon.  It was a lovely house that we had all to ourselves.  We attempted to play golf with mushroom heads and walked down the road a ways.  After cooking dinner, we ventured down the hill to the local tavern, where some guys offered to drive us to a farm the next morning to watch them shear the sheep.  We got back and watched the incredible stars for a while, then lit sparklers to celebrate... um.. something... then watched the moon rise!  It was gorgeous.  And this has been a super long caption. The next day it was clear and sunny and we biked past the 45-degree lattitude marker seen behind us here.  After passing this marker, the trail was mostly downhill, which was nice for a change.  Unfortunately, my ass hurt like none other.
Hilary poses by some fields... of something...  Yeah, I'm sorry, there really are not too many photos from this trip... It had started to become another long day by the time we ate lunch here, and the sun was beating down hard.
We crossed the tallest trestle on the rail trail. And went through several tunnels like this
Inside it was spooky like this!  Which was fitting for halloween.  Also notice that you can see the "dip" of the schist bedrock in the ceiling of the tunnel. Another cool trestle
We noticed a bus passing through the town we stayed at that night, and the next day decided to just go home instead of biking to the very end of the trail!  Instead of biking... we made a short movie!  Which is still being edited.  Coming soon to a screen near you. For now, enjoy this gentle scenery.