NZ Day 14 – Haast Pass, be careful

Last night I just randomly camped in a park in the middle of the town, I know it is not right, but carrying around 15kg on my hands is not easy (because I left my bike in the bike shop and I have to carry all my luggage by my hands), and I didn’t want to go far. Some kids did come and harass me, they threw stones onto my tent and said some bad words outside. I chose not to react because if they saw me fight back, they would call the police and I gotta move. At those moments, it was better to pretend I was sleeping.

At the end, nobody came and those kids left me alone. However, I was sleeping above some sorts of water pumps, there were constantly mechanical operating sounds underground which made me hard to sleep well.

Anyway, I wake up, pray and wait the whole morning for the good news from the bike shop. Finally they finish installing new chain and disc, which cost me 86 dollars, but I am happy with its smoothness, that makes it more effective than the old one.

So I continue my trip, passing Albert town, Lake Hawea and then Makarora. On the way it is just lakes after lakes. These 2 weeks I came across so many lakes in the south island, they are all “same same, but different” and I appreciate God gave such abundant resources to this country!

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I want to make it to Haast tonight, but it seems impossible. Stop and try a different strategy, hitchhike!! But this time, nobody stops. I try for 30 mins, but actually there are only 10 cars pass by.

It is because the Haast Highway closes everyday at 6:30pm in order to prevent any accident happening. Last December, there were a couple crossing that highway in the dark, unluckily it was raining and resulted in landslide. Their campervan was swept away into the rapid running river, and their bodies were found after a few days in the lower reaches of the river. It was a shocking tragedy in the whole country, and the government is doing everything to prevent it from happening again. That’s why they CLOSE the road everyday.

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I sneak across the rocks and gates so that I can still ride on the road after it closes….but NOT recommended!!!

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That is the huge rapid running river.

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Many people don’t know that and still driving after 7pm towards Haast Pass!! My bike can sneak through the gates so the closing doesn’t affect me. But everyone should watch out when there it is raining!! Both sides after Haast Pass are VERY STEEP DOWNHILL road, if the roads are wet, it is VERY DANGEROUS! I almost put my lowest gear and full break on so that I don’t slide and fall.

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Other than that, the Mount Aspiring National Park is a relaxing ride, with trees on both side to block the sunshine.

There are 2 camping ground along the highway, Cameron Flat and Pleasant Flat, each on one side of the Haast Pass. So here I am in Pleasant Flat, glad to meet other travelers camping here! Be aware of sandflies, there are millions and they love to bite your skins! Cover it up as much as you can!

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Everytime when I am rolling downhill, I told myself to slow down and be focus, and pray that God will deliver me safely! It works, try it!
Love this spirit! It is around 7:30pm but the sunset is brilliant!

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Wanaka to Pleasant Flat in Mount Aspiring National Park 99km

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