A Gentle Introduction for Gaillimh

Wed 28th September: Queenstown to Alexandra – 93 km

The Irish Lads At FergburgerThe IRFU Charitable Trust Lads at Fergburger

Queenstown was great but if we were to watch our lads do the business against the Italians in Dunedin we had to get back on the saddle. We said our goodbyes to FergBurger, Lake Wakitipu and our luxury hotel but I know I will return some day.

Christ and Andy Leaving QueenstownChris and Andy leaving Queenstown

The two full days rest for the legs really did the trick and everyone was back on the bike for what proved to be the easiest day of the whole tour. I’m sure Gaillimh was asking himself what all the talk of our hardship was up to that point. With traffic being quite busy we were afforded the luxury a bus trip just outside the town itself. This cut a few climbs out of our day and left us with a beautiful spin along the Kawarau Gorge. The slight drags now and then were hardly noticeable before lunch as we passed some old shacks on the far side of the the Kawarau River from New Zealand’s historic gold rush.

Kawarau GorgeThe very impressive Kawarau Gorge

The whole morning was beyond pleasant with little traffic to worry about and a gentle pace that saw all of the tour remain in a single train. We arrived in Cromwell for our lunch break earlier than was planned so we were able to relax in the sun outside the quaint roadside cafés. The local radio station had announced that we would be on the roads that day so everyone we met had questions for us. There was even time for a photo for yet another local newspaper.

The IRFU Charitable Trust Lads at CromwellThe IRFU Charitable Trust Lads at Cromwell

After lunch the group split into two. Anyone who wanted to pick up the pace for the rest of the cycle could go ahead. I was in my element bombing up hills with the pack of stronger cyclist. We really did make incredible time and arrived in Clyde by early afternoon. With its relaxed one horse town vibe, Clyde was the perfect rest stop. We chilled out in the warm sun with a beer at an old tavern before heading off to our motel in Alexandra for an early shower.

The IRFU Charitable Trust Lads at ClydeThe IRFU Charitable Trust Lads enjoying a few pitchers outside a Clyde Tavern

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