14 Feb: Hanmer Springs to Cob Cottage

A155640_023-2 To climb up from Hanmer Springs to the historic Awatere River Road, also known as Acheron Road or Molesworth Road, we had two choices: power line trail or dirt road. We chose the power line trail, which might have been wrong. We hit some of the steepest grades of the route along this loose, rocky path, at times barely able to push our bikes upward. Awatere Road We reached the top, finally, and the road unfurled before us. Following the Awatere River, we only found shelter from the sun’s heat at the Acheron Accommodation House, where travelers would stop in the late 1800s, and under a lone tree, where we stopped for lunch. A155640_030-2 A ranger checked on us, making sure we knew the road closed at 7pm and we had to make it to the next cottage, where camping is allowed. We got there with a half hour to spare after a late start to the day, and were rewarded with a small waterfall-fed pool to swim in and a beautiful sunset turning the mountains shades of orange and pink. A155643_016A-2 More:

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