9.30pm Invercargill Central City Camping.
One hundred days since I took my first step from Cape Reinga. It somehow seems apt that this evening I have met Thomas, Peter and Anne who have just finished their Te Araroa trail journey today after over 5 months. They look happy and fulfilled to have finally finished it, they also look very thin!
Here I am, on the eve of two of the biggest events of my life. Firstly can I eat all the bacon, eggs, sausages, mushrooms and tomatoes, plus loaf of bread I have bought us for breakfast. Secondly can I do one more pull up than David (we are on an equal seven).
But seriously …. I am about to enter my sixth decade, I’ve had a half a century on planet earth and its probably been the best half I’ll have, the next half could be a bit tougher! Nifty at fifty, life begins, you are as old as you feel etc all that stuff doesn’t really mean anything. I’ll think I will just carry on being me. More significantly I am on the last leg of my challenge and Bluff becons. David and I are going to shed our panniers and take Rex and Sheela (David’s bike) on a sprint finish tomorrow at around 10am. Not sure how I will feel. I decided to pause today in Invercargill and prepare myself but i haven’t really got “myself” any further. I guess I will feel however I feel at the time so let’s wait and see.
It’s been another good days cycling after yet another icy start. No mist so sun warmed us up sooner. The going was “undulating” and it definitely got busier on the as we neared Invercargill (lots of trucks!). We stopped in Riverton for my “flat white dose” and to update the blogs from the last three days (what a treat for you dear reader!). Riverton looks a nice setting with the river and coast nearby, it was sunny which always helps, we had a visit and chat with the jolly lady in the paua factory shop before heading off. Nearer Wallacetown we met another cyclist going north (nice german chap) and compared notes on our experiences at the roadside, as the trucks roared past.
We Rolled into Invercargill about 3pm and had a look around the museum and especially the Burt Munro displays. The Tuataras were also great to see as the oldest living species still alive today. Then we started looking for accommodation but were only double rooms available at the backpackers and as David and I have only known each other a short while it seemed improper so we plumbed for the camp site instead. While David was checking out the central backpacker place I Met Diane (Diyz to her friends) who told me she was mentally Ill but allowed to live in the community! After she told me her life story we had a good chat and a laugh when I told her I’d come over with Kate and William, she said she was related to King Leopold and we left as the best of royal friends.
David turned out to be a good chef and made a dinner, Lamb rissoles with vegetables which wed both agreed we needed after a few too many fat filled fibreless dinners.
So… Tomorrow is not just another day.