We are here at long last – it's been a bit of a mission. The days and distances have not been long but the endless featureless landscape has been a chore at 100 kph, not to mention the ceaseless wind. The ride from Rio Grande to here has been the one exception with towering mountains, alpine lakes and no wind. My initial misgivings over the bland pastoral landscape and the expectation of it lasting forever were misplaced but I suspect the flat will be back. For the moment there are signs of an indigenous bush much the same as you find around Horopito on the National Park side of Ruapehu. I presume this bush once covered the whole island and has been mostly cleared for pasture. The bush shows considerable die-back which a Dutch research student here at the hostel says is caused by changes in hydrology. The ghostly scene is aided by dead trees in their hundreds that have not rotted.
We also had a visit from a member of the 54 South Motorcycle Club, clearly the worlds most southerly, who was a great help in pointing us to various service agents – an auto electrician for a BMW starter motor and a tyre changing service.
Guzilia had her birthday yesterday, complete with cake and candle plus happy birthday sung in 3 languages.