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SINZ II Tour Blog: Day 10 Naseby to Lauder 80km

We were to begin the Central Otago Rail Trail in Hyde, not quite the start in Middlemarch but enough for us to see a good portion of the trail.
After slopping on thick layers of sunscreen, we set off on the Rail Trail. The trail was smooth and climbed very gradually. We went through several long railway tunnels which was a lot of fun- the more organised riders brought lights, the rest of us just aimed blindly toward the light at the end of the tunnel, hoping we wouldn’t hit an obstacle or crash into the tunnel walls along the way.
It was a hot day, and getting hotter by through the afternoon. We stopped at various points on the first SINZ tour, with Ken recreating photos he took 10 years ago.
Of course, there was an obligatory refreshment stop with much time spent outside Ranfurly station sipping cold drinks and licking popsicles.
The support vehicles met us at Wedderburn station, where the original building is featured in a famous painting by Otago artist Graham Sydney. It was a good place for an afternoon siesta, with many of the riders snoring away in the shade.
After lunch we were back along the rail trail. It was an incredibly hot, long stretch of trail, punctuated by impressive looking bridges. We had another ice-cream stop at the Gilchrist Store in Oturehua (the oldest continuously trading store in New Zealand), before riding a bit further to arrive in Lauder. We stayed at the Lauder School B&B, a converted school accommodation run by Bruce and Esme Dawson. The rooms are aptly named, with riders staying in the ‘detention shed’, ‘music cottage’, ‘art room’, staffroom’ and ‘sports shed’.
We had a hearty meal across the road at the Lauder Hotel, instantly doubling the population of the town with our unicyclists.

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