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Day 19: Queenstown to Winton

Winton, New Zealand

"OK, am I dreaming, or are the sheep turning pink?" asks Claud, as we near the metropolis of Winton, Southland. "No, you're correct there, Claud", I reply. The merino sheep, instead of hiding from the heat, as earlier, like little hot woolly mammoths, under the shade of the trees, are now frisking around in thin white-seamed pink pyjamas, glowing a rosy pink in the evening sun.

The explanation comes later, after we check into the Winton Hotel (est. 1889). I ask why everyone in town has a Scottish accent. "Och, it's because we're a' sheep shearers frae Scotland, over tae help the kiwis shear their sheep fur the season." replies my Winton Hotel guest interlocutor. Boy, do these Scots lads ever shear the sheep closely, though!

After five luges last night and an hour admiring stupendous views of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu, I meet up with Craig, from Swansea, and Beccy from Southampton (a teacher). They are on their nine-month honeymoon, travelling the world, having given up their jobs in Gosport.

In the morning, the cycle along the edge of Wakatipu, with morning misty clouds on the flanks of the Remarkables range, is another and, probably final, amazing Vista for my cycling adventure.

To my left, the sides of the mountains are so sheer that, in shadow, they appear to be rising above me like an immense, concave, jagged-toothed tidal wave, about to crash onto the valley below - very scary!

The mountains and lakeside finally give way to fairly flat (apart from the Devil's Staircase and Josephville Hill) farmland.

Distance today: 159 Km, Cumulative: 2251, Remaining: 60 Km

permalink written by  John and Claud on February 4, 2007 from Winton, New Zealand
from the travel blog: Cape Reinga to Bluff
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But you still haven't mentioned a ring or a hobbit! Wife

permalink written by  Pat Taylor on February 7, 2007

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