10.45pm Hu Ha “Bikepackers” (do you see what they did there?), Glenhope.
Hu Ha is a great name for this place as its the noise your mouth repeatedly emits involuntarily when you get off the saddle after 8 hours cycling when the hitherto restricted bloodflow seeps back into your completely numbed genitalia. Yes my backside took a pounding today as did my lungs and knees. What I hadn’t realised was today’s ride included a really steep ascent right at the end
This “Hope Saddle” as its is appropriately named (as in i hope i can get off this saddle soon after I get to the top) took me up to 634 metres from my sea level start this morning. I think I’ve covered about 90km in all as I went the scenic route up the Motueka West Valley road to a place called Woodstock where it joined highway 6, which was only a little less quiet ( worst bit being the double trucks which bomb past and you can feel being sucked into their wake). The German lady at the Motueka i-site had suggested this slightly longer but quieter alternative as it was a nice and steady route up the river valley passing lots of fruit farms full of apples, pears, kiwifruit, blue berries, raspberries, blackcurrants etc. There were fruit trees at the road edge and I enjoyed some lovely golden peaches (probably too many).
Bit of a German theme today as I learnt about the “industrious” Germans who had come to Motueka in the late 19th century when the settlement of the land was proving too difficult for many. The Germans worked hard and established the fruit growing area it has become today. I’m also sharing this bikepackers with two German girls, Sabina and Johanna, who are actually not cycling. We’ve had a good chat (their english is amazing) and even watched Mary Poppins together. They have been in NZ since October and here until May/June, they met over here and have been travelling together for a while (they have a car!). Sabina is older and is having a gap year after uni, Johanna is Amie’s age and having a gap year before uni in September. I’ve told them my German joke (accredited to Barry Munro who told me)
Why is crime so low in Germany?
Because it is against the law!
They were still talking to me after this so i told them my English joke because they didn’t have any English jokes.
Two Scotsmen, two Irishmen, two Welshmen and two Englishmen get marooned on a desert England.
They all get rescued after a week and the rescuers find that the Scotsmen had set up a distillery, the Irishmen were drunk and fighting on the beach, the Welshmen had formed a choir and the two Englishmen were still waiting to be formally introduced!
Anyway, now that I have not been on the saddle for a couple of hours, had something to eat, showered, and sang along to supercalafragalisticexpealidcious I am feeling fully recovered from my cycling travails. This place is really nice and cosy, has a big woodburner, old wooden floors and everything you can possibly need apart from a new bottom. I have even got a dorm to myself and luxury of a double bed (28 bucks). Met Jo and little Max who own the place and seem really laid back so “sweet as”.
One thing I have noticed about cycling (well probably a couple of things) is that you have more time to think than when walking. Walking on tramping tracks often demanded your full concentration as to where to place your feet. With cycling you just need to point the handlebars in the direction of the road. The other related thing is that you feel you can stop and detour more often. I did this in Tapawera ( where I thought someone should open a plastic crockery and other kitchen utensils outlet).
There was a cementary just out of town which I thought I’d stop at and look around. What struck me was the way some of the graves had been really personalised in memory for the deceased. Favourite objects, clothes, hats, toys, photos, even their favourite drinks were lovingly placed on the grave. Gave me an idea to do the same for my Dads grave and when I pop my clogs i would like something similar. This got me thinking about what objects would be put around dads grave and what would be put around mine. How do you sum up a persons life in objects reflecting their achievements, personality, traits, hobbies, favourite things etc.
I struggled a bit with objects for myself which made me think about whether I had anything that stands out as my unique identity other than I once grew a village people type moustache.
Another completely unrelated thought is that I need to keep tabs on how many kms I’m doing against my 3000km target. I think I did around 1550km walking the North Island which leaves me 1450km to do in the South.
I’ve already done a few kms with axe head cycles, walks, and kayaks before getting Rex, my bike. Probably and coservatively ( i dont want anyone who has sponsored me demanding their money back) this would amount to around 50km so we are talking 1400km left
Yesterday I did about 55km and today was around 90km so we are talking 1255 left. I ‘ve got 31 days left so it would equate to 41km a day which is eminently doable and may even give me “time off” for some walking or I can extend the cycling ( or I could just sit around drinking flat whites). I will aim to do a daily tally of how much I have done and how much I’ve got left because I know you will like to be informed of this on a daily basis.
Lionel has been texting me and giving me a thought for the day
“The secret of happiness is freedom, and the secret of freedom is courage”
I’m still thinking about that one!
Lionel has been really involved in what I’m doing and sharing thoughts and reminders for me, last one of his 10 texts today was to remember to tighten up the front brake pad screw which Amy had said works loose every couple days.
Rex has been very good and a bond of man and machine is forming. I only had to tighten up his handlebar which I’d adjusted and not tightened enough. He is a workhorse with what he is carrying (I must have at least 30kgs of stuff) and a thoroughbred as he moves so well on the road. I imagine he has done this journey several times with Amy and other previous owners so knows the pack drill. Fingers crossed and cheeks clenched.