snafuspyramid wrote:Thanks, I just purchased a generic pharmacy version online for $10.
Is there anything else you recommend taking for NZ conditions particularly? What was the weather like when you were there? I got the impression from your blog that it was fairly clear weather, though I haven't read all of it yet. What do you recommend for sun protection?
Bearing in mind I've toured there twice in spring, i.e. the same time as you will be there.
First tour I got mostly fine weather with only a couple of showery days, and one very wet day at Haast on the west coast where it bucketed down for most of a day, as it is wont to do there. My advice is, keep an eye on the weather forecast, and if they say a front is coming, stay in bed. EnZed Metservice has a great little weather app btw. But I still ended up wearing arm and leg warmers every day on the west coast for protection from the sandflies.
I have brown skin and don't burn easily, so I don't carry any sunscreen. BUT - the ozone is thin in the atmosphere above EnZed, and when the sun shines, it burns. It burns even when it is quite low in the sky, and I was surprised to realise that my face was getting burned, even though I always wear a cap under my helmet. So if you do burn I think you will need maximum protection sunscreen.
On my second tour the weather was the exact opposite, with a series of complex cold fronts arriving from the Antarctic every five days or so. I got frigid wind, rain, sleet, snow. There were only two days when I could shed the arm and leg warmers, and they were on the ride along the Tekapo - Pukaki Canal past Mt Cook, and the next day over the Lindis Pass to Wanaka. As mentioned in another post, a few days later there was 20cm of snow on the pass. Oh, and southerly fronts are often followed by westerly gales - 130kph winds are common. The day I rode from Hakataramea Pass to Lake Tekapo it took me 3 hours to travel the last 10kms into the gale. After that there will be a couple of nice still days before the next cold front arrives.
In these conditions my four season Hilleberg tent was a godsend. Most days I wore bibnicks and a Ground Effect merino short sleeve jersey, a Ground Effect Jetson vest, arm and leg warmers, under gloves and mitts and a Showers Pass Elite 2 jacket. When it was raining I also wore a Taiga helmet hat, Rainlegs and goretex mitts.
PS - when you get to Wanaka, and also in Queenstown if you go that way, make sure you take your wife to Patagonia Chocolates. Get her a hot chocolate and a few truffles, there are a lot of brownie point to be won.
If you would like a copy of the EnZed South Island camping guide, PM me with an email address. One thing I discovered is that in many motor camps (caravan parks), a cabin is only a few dollars more than a camp site and well worth it for a comfortable bed and electricity to recharge batteries etc.