Day 80

It took Phileus Fogg and Passepartout 80 days to get around the world, I’ve got to Nelson!

Lionel drove to Picton to pick me up around 11am and it wasn’t long before we were analysing my trip and why it had come about at this time in my life, how I had stripped my existence to a contented simplicity, what freedom really means, how humans have got so detached from our natural surroundings and how our evolutionary propensity to walk is being lost. And that was before we’d finished coffee!

Lionel is a real thinker and spends a lot of time considering the human condition and what motivates us. He loves to form his opinions over detailed consideration, reflection and analysis. He is spot on more often than not.

Lionel is looking fit and healthy and has now found a work-life balance which suits him to the ground, enough income comes in, he doesn’t know or really care how many hours he works. He loves what he does which is sharing his passion for swimming with others to coach them to be the best they can be.

On the way back to Nelson we picked up Will who is French (but was ok!) and has been in NZ (Christchurch) for 5 days after spending a couple months in Aussie including Tasmania. He looks like a cross between Orlando Blooms “Will” and Jonny Depps “Captain Jack”. He said he had no English when he’d left France but had picked it up in Aussie, quite impressive although I was disappointed he didn’t have an Aussie accent when saying ” bugger” which was obviously one of the first words you’d learn in Aussie.

We dropped Will off in town as he wanted to go to library and we went back to Lionel and Michelle’s new house which is on a steep hill but this gives amazing views over Nelson Bay and across to the mountains, quite stunning and could never tire of this vista. They often just spend evening looking out over the bay listening to music or chatting or simply just looking.

I’m in Jenna’s sunny room with a big window overlooking the bay (Jenna has recently moved to Wellington to work as lifeguard at main aquatic centre). Michael has certainly got bigger since I last saw him but looks very much the same. He is planning to move to Sydney in April to find a different job (has been working in supermarket produce for quite a few years now). He is still very much into his unicycling and will be able to do more when gets to Sydney including unicycle hockey!

Lionel and I walked into town via pleasant graveyard walkway and looked around, i bought a pair of flash bright blue bicycle shorts at bike barn. Lionel was flabbergasted at my conversation with the owner where I started to say

“I need a pair of shorts for my “virgin” backside which is sore”

Slightly phased the owner suggested I start by looking in the men’s section rather than continuing to look through the ladies.

Hopefully any misunderstanding were resolved as I may need to go back for more kit and Lionel’s reputation needs to remain intact.

We went up to the “centre of new Zealand” hill for a view of the city and re met our French friend Will who was chatting with some ladies. Said hello again and got a photo. Will was planning to camp nearby that night. Would have felt sorry for him but thought yeah, this would be a really nice place to put a tent and wished him well.

Centre of NZ with Lionel and Will. Not sure about naked boy!?

Centre of NZ with Lionel and Will. Not sure about naked boy!?

Met up with Michelle when we got home and had a delicious veggie meal of home made quiche, chickpea salad, feta salad and potatoes washed down with a cold beer and overlooking the bay at sunset. Ahhhhhhhh how lovely.

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