Another perfect day and it’s my Birthday too!
The “full english” started the proceedings most satisfactorarily. Managed to Skype with Marie and Alice and have a nice birthday chat. The weather was looking great, warm and sunny so I did the laundry for both of us. People on the site were wishing me happy birthday which was a nice touch too. Wendy and Doug who own the site have been really nice, had a talk to Wendy about the Cancer Research and sadly found out how they had lost a nephew to cancer when he was in his 30’s and had a young family, Doug and I had a yarn with fellow fifty year olds about how the forties are really the tricky decade to get through and now its all plain sailing. Had a final chat with Thomas, Anne and Peter the TA hikers before they left and we wished each other well. A really relaxing start before the final push to Bluff.
I dont think we set off until much after midday. Turned out to be more like 33km than 23km but the road was mainly flat and we could get a good head of steam up. Despite the prescence of big industrial units the ride was across pleasant countryside with the headland of Bluff slowly becoming closer. I had to pause for a flat white prior to the last stretch.
And there it was, a very sunny vibrantly coloured Stirling Point, the end of the mainland and the official end of my challenge. On a day like today it was such a beautiful setting. We took the photos for posterity and walked up to the Drunken Sailor for the Seafood Platter to end all Seafood Platters. I was blown away with how nice the Bluff Oysters tasted, wow! Will definitely have more of those!
I bombed it back to Invercargill in record time as I was on a high and wanted to push myself and with Rex not loaded it was a great fast ride.
We were just about to head into town when Doug and Wendy ushered me into the lounge and presented me with a lovely surprise of a birthday cake, chocolate and biscuits. A crowd formed and sang happy birthday. It was really touching and I had to wipe away a tear. Felica and the boys also rang and i was sang happy birthday in spanish, I had another tear forming then too.
We walked into town and after a pitta pocket and a sly beer from the liquor store went to watch the rugby at the Kelvin Hotel. Interesting place as it was full of pokies and gambling of every type. Some waitresses whod finished their shift invited us to eat some of their massive platter of food so didnt need a second invite.
Explained the very basic rules of rugby to David who didnt know anything and watched what turned out to be a very good game of super rugby which the Highlanders came back from behind to beat the big beefy Bulls.
We were then accosted by Tony and his son Rik who’d had a skinful already but wanted to show us some great southern hospitality. Tonys wife had died of blood cancer 3 years ago and he thrust some money into my hands for cancer research. We had a good bit of piss taking as I believe you do with hospitable drunk southern men. We’ve been invited to stay at their bach in Manapouri anytime with our wives in the future. Somehow David has now committed to play for Rik’s rugby team tomorrow and is getting picked up at midday! I feigned old age and got out of it.
Great day, Great night, Great trip, Great life and probably a great big hangover in the morning!
Thanks for following me on this self-indulgent rambling blog
As Arnie said….I’ll be back
So keep checking over the next few weeks