It rained all night and when morning came, the weather had turned cold and windy.
However, we left our B&B in Middlemarch with spirits high.
We had to cover only 33 kms during the morning hours, ...
... but the terrain was a vast highland with hardly any trees, ...
... lots of strong headwind and occasional showers.
For once, our route was on a public asphalt road so we saw mostly dead wildlife like this hedgehog (an imported European species now considered a pest) ...
... as well as this possum (an imported Australian species since long declared a pest and a vermin in NZ widely trapped/poisoned/shot or road-killed. "A good possum is a dead possum" is a common mantra among Kiwis.
The big challenges on today's stage were, however, the ups and the downs of the road (especially the ups).
The last hill before our midway meeting point was particularly cruel with a 10-12% upward slope for almost 2 km.
The former owners: Mr. and Mrs. Clarke.
We reached "Clarke's Junction" where we were supposed to wait for our transfer car to take us and the bikes the last "bit" to Lawrence. We were told that there was a restaurant-hotel at the junction where we could wait and have lunch. However, the place was closed and the new owners were renovating everything inside. – Eventually, our driver arrived, picked us up and drove us on super-hilly, washboard gravel roads the remaining 50 kms to the small village of Lawrence. We were indeed thankful to not have to bike that stretch !!
Our driver used to be a shearer and he took us to a sheep farm along our route where a shearer team was busy shearing 3000 sheep. 
Each shearer get 2 NZ$ per sheep and will shear around 300 sheep during an 8-hours workday.
Each meat-sheep like these young ewes will provide c. 1 kg of wool that sells for around 2 NZ$ ...
... so for the sheep farmer the shearing costs are balanced with the income generated by selling the wool. (Merino sheep wool will sell for 12-14 NZ$ per kg)
Waiting more-or-less patiently to be sheared.
We are presently in a B&B in a small township called Lawrence where we enjoy a day off; just strolling around the six streets and saying "Helloi" to the friendly Kiwis. – Good on us, mate!
Lawrence now has a few hundred inhabitants but in its gold rush heydays it boasted 12,000 (incl. only 150 womenfolk)!
A core family of early town people in Lawrence in the 1870s.
Gabriel's Gully 5km from Lawrence. This was where gold was first discovered in New Zealand back in 1858. The valley bottom sediments are being dug up, turned over, sifted and sluiced in order to locate every nugget and flake of gold. The white spots on the valley sides are the gold diggers' tents.
We struck gold in a backyard in town. Frank ought to restore this beauty of a vintage version of today's RV monsters – and then explore the Otago country roads.
However, we settled for exploration by bicycles just as the gentlemen did back in the days before automobiles.
. . .
Tomorrow, we will mount our bicycles again and head north on the Clutha Gold Trail.