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Central Otago Rail Trail

Trail Plaque (Ranfurly) 001JC
[NOTE: click any pic to enlarge]
As a change, and because there was a lot of interest, our Siberia Tramp was preceded by a cycle tour along the Central Otago Rail Trail from Clyde to Middlemarch.

To simplify arrangements, we opted for a guided tour with Trail Journeys and on this occasion John Barrell took over Ian's usual job of making the arrangements for this and the following Siberia Tramp. For me, getting "cycle fit" entailed buying the cheapest 18-speed mountain bike and re-learning the joys of cycling, which made up quite a considerable part of my teenage years.

Otherwise, my preparation was mainly experimenting with various ways to carry my new Nikon D50 digital SLR, which is quite a challenge after getting used to the small non-SLR cameras. I wasted a lot of money on a number of camera bags that proved quite impractical for cycling and tramping, but like the subject of the children's story "Old Hat, New Hat", I eventually settled on an old "holster" type I already owned, once I accepted the concept of keeping to the one lens that came with the camera (which was also the best quality). This lens actually does quite a good close-up, gives a great wide angle view and a fair telephoto shot (so the separate wide-angle and telephotos lens stayed at home). The added advantage of this approach was it avoided the need for a lens change on the dusty trail with its risk of getting further contamination on the photo-sensors.

Just in case I also took my Nikon CP 3000 digital and six other digital camera wielding co-cyclists! I was pleasantly surprised at the improvement in quality provided by the SLR lens over the simple digitals when similar scenes are compared. However, some non-SLR pictures are included in the following pages as photographic skill and timing sometimes beat better optics!

So the cyclists on our "tour" were:

  • Dianne & Ian Bardsley (ex Hawera) [photo ID=IB Camera=Canon Ixus 55 digital],
  • Neil & Vivien Taylor (Hawera) [photo ID=VT Camera=Olympus digital],
  • John & Vern Barrell (New Plymouth),
  • Jenny & Malcolm Tobeck (New Plymouth) [photo ID=MT Camera=Canon Powershot A75],
    On to the pictures
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    and story.
  • Jim Callaghan (Wanganui, ex-Hawera) [photo ID=JC Camera=Olympus µ400 digital],
  • Alan Rogers (Hawera) [photo ID=AR Camera=Panasonic DMC LC40 digital],
  • Graham Thompson (Hawera),
  • Graham & Cathy Thompson (Hawera) [photo ID=CT Camera=Sony T5 digital] and
  • Keith Blayney [yours truly] (Hawera) [photo ID=KB Camera=Nikon D50 SLR; 18-55 f3.5-5.6 Nikkor lens &
    ID=KBCP Camera=Nikon CoolPix 3100 digital].

All photographs © - media reproduction requires permission

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