The other cyclists were heading all the way to Fox Glacier (120km) but i wasnt up for that with this being my 12th day in a row on the saddle after all.
We had an occasional head wind but as a whole it was a beautiful day as we headed along the west coast, riding alongside the rainforest and sea. The west coast is sparsely populated and there are no types of services between Haast and Fox Glacier (120km) so I've been finally getting use out of the Platypus water sacks I brought.
We made it to the furthest DoC campsite, assuming if we passed this we may be trying to freedom camp somewhere tonight and decided to stop to take a look. The camp site was set at the edge of beautiful Lake Paringa and we met a couple cycling there so decided 55km was enough for the day.
The other cyclists were doing a similar deal to James, they bought their bikes here and were riding to Cromwell where they would work on a farm picking fruit. The campsite wound up becoming pretty packed as the night went on and we had a lot of company, talking about our travels.
Being the shortest ride I've had in a while it was nice to get time to relax and read. I also took a very brief swim in the very cold to try to wash off the concoction of ultra strong bug repellent, sun screen and aloe (for the bug bites).
Speaking of bug repellent, I mentioned before that the stuff I brought didn't work so well. As we get back into sand fly country this became apparent again. I asked Garben at camp last night if they were having sand fly problems and he showed me a tube of 80% DEET Bushman bug repellent. Joked that it wasn't legal in his home country but that it worked so I picked up a bottle in the morning before leaving Haast. I put it on when we stopped for lunch. The amount left on my hands ate the dye off my bread bag when I touched it and I was left with purple hands for the day. At least it kept the sand flies away.