ALPS 2 OCEAN RIDE 3
I’m not sure any of us wanted to leave Lake Ohau Lodge! But after a big breakfast we said our goodbyes to our hosts and headed off up the trail, which starts just off the lodge driveway. The trail from here is a good gradient, slow climb of 400m over about 10Km, the first climb of the ride so far. For the non bikers in the group it sounded scary. But it really is as gentle and as rewarding as a 400m climb can be! The trail is all off road, it’s slightly more bumpy that the previous sections of trail but it is still well maintained and very doable for everyone. Lake Ohau gradually got further away as we worked our way up the valley side. It was a beautiful morning of sunshine with a light mist over the lake itself, so we had plenty of amazing views to check out when we stopped for a rest.
The trail is windy and we are treated to endless views of Lake Ohau, the valley and the mountains pretty much all the way up. So it’s a good distraction! There are two beech forest sections too, which are the first forested sections of the trail and really pretty.
Tarnbrae high point
The high point stands at 900m above sea level. It’s was a cool place to stop and appreciate both the hard work that we’d put in and also the outstanding landscapes we’d seen so far over the last 3 days.
We stopped for a drone stop at the top before taking a few mins to have lunch. Next came the downhill section, which I was really excited about. It turned out to be a pretty good downhill for a none mountain biking trail! With some tight turns and a good gradient to get some speed up! Still not at all technical so completely doable for the none mountain bikers of the group.
And what better than a downhill that ends with Coffee!!! At the historic Woolshed car park there is a little coffee cart/car that serves up proper good coffee! It’s worth investigating the building here, it is an old woolshed that used to be part of one of the biggest stations in Otago in 1870’s. Live was hard on sheep mustering on the Quailburn hills back then and it’s interesting to walk around the woodshed reading the interpretation panels, learning the hardships endured.
The coffee from the van was also fantastic! And the barista’s dog was very cute!
From here the trail is a gravel road, mostly flat with a little undulation and a few downhills. It’s a little bumpy but it’s easy riding if like us you don’t have a head wind.
The Clay Cliffs
A few Kms out of Omarama we chose to take the option of adding another 14Km to our day with a out and back side trip to the clay rocks. the rocks are really quite impressive. The clay has been weathered by the elements and produced tall columns of rock which it’s possible to walk in amongst.
On the final few Kms into Omarama we listened to Roberts singing songs that he was making up about Omarama and the beer we were looking forward too! After a 60Km ride we were all pleased to finally get to Omarama. As we’d spend a good hour or so enjoying the Clay Cliffs so it was getting quite late when we arrived at our accommodation. The bikes were stored and a quick drop off of the luggage in the room before a beer at the bar called!
Where at the bar Robert pioneered a new variation on beer (I’m convinced will be the next big thing…) by adding a soluble lime electrolyte it!
I think we all retired early for a good nights sleep before the 64Km day tomorrow.
Day 3: 45Km A2O riding. 14Km side trip.
Climbing slowly for 11Km on off road track up 400m. High Point 900m above sea level. Then easy downhill track for 8Km. 21Km flat undulating easy riding gravel road.
Clay Cliff are definitely worth a visit.
In Omarama, there are hot tubs that you can go to give your legs a relaxing soak.
Blogs of Riding Day 4 and 5 to come.
Contact Adventurers Travel Company to organise your Alps to Ocean adventure for you.