Day 9 was an easy one. We knew that it was going to rain that evening, but the day had cleared up in the morning. So we took our time in the morning, cooking breakfast, and drinking lots and lots of coffee. It was a short day, only covering 20 Km, but through 3 gnarly steep peaks.
Because we got there early, we quickly checked in into our hostel for the night (not tenting due to impending rain),and headed to Lake Matheson, that was supposed to be stunning, because of the reflection of mt cook in the black inky water. Alas, on the bike ride there (mere 6km from the Fox Glacier), Kelley’s tire popped really loudly. The tube had a huge puncture, and upon closer inspection, we realized that the tire had torn through. We spent 2 hours on the side of the road, trying to make things work, taping the portion of the tire that had ripped through. We made the decision that a new tire was needed, as well as a bunch of extra tubes (the spare tubes bought in Nelson were the wrong size!!). Unfortunately, there was no bike store between hokitika and wanaka (400km stretch)– so we had to order from hokitika, to be sent on one of those intercity buses (greyhound) and take day 10 off.
We made it to Lake Matheson on day 10, take 2. We managed to do a bunch of reading (I finished a whole book!), doing laundry, cooking rice ( I was having a rice withdrawal), with chicken tikka masala, vegetable curry, and Kelley cooked lentil soup. We even managed to hop into one of those weird claustrophobic ish sauna thing.
Lake Matheson was beautiful although we didn’t get to see it in all of its glory due to the cloud shrouding the top of the mountain. The 1.5 hour hike through the lush green rainforest was wonderful and it felt weird walking (not riding). All in all, a good day off, and a huge relief when the spare tire and tubes arrived on nz greyhound.