Nerena and Scott assured me I slept well, apparently I was snoring and snuffling two seconds after the light went out. Sorry team, must have been my turn.
The sunrise this morning over misty fields was particularly spectacular, and I hoped the red sky didn’t portend to bad weather later in the day. When we checked the weather when we got up, the temperature was meant to be 9• so I didn’t bother with leg layers even tho it felt like there was a chill in the air. As the sun came up and the temperatures didn’t increase I realised stopping to put on the extra layer would be worth it, especially since we had a tail wind and a slight downhill.
When you feel cold on the bike it can be hard to warm up again, since the temptation is to cycle harder to warm up, but as you go faster, the wind chill makes you cold again. So having good gear, and the good sense to use it is what makes the difference.
We tried to find some breakfast for Scott and Nerena in Dipton, but nothing was open when we made it there. How they had cycled so far without breakfast always amazes me. I would have been quivering in a ditch again if I had tried that. We had more success in Winton, but it was lunchtime by the time we made it there.
The landscape as we progressed became less hilly, with fertile paddocks. They didn’t appear to be suffering from the water shortage down this way. Scott and Nerena decided to make the most of the tail wind and fine weather to forge on to the end that same day. They paused at Wallacetown to try and sort a shuttle back from Bluff. Then carried on since I was happy to wait until the next day so I could share it with my biggest supporters- Mum & Dad.
I enjoyed being off the road as I cycled towards the centre of Invercargill, but I made a quick detour to get a bike box sorted at the airport. There has been rumours amongst the group that bike boxes were becoming as rare as hens teeth. People had been driving to Queenstown to try and source them.
That sorted, I turned my wheel towards the accommodation Mum had booked us for the night. I hadn’t made it far when the purple glow of my own personal kryptonite lured me in. Burger fuel is impossible to resist when I am in dire need of carbs and salt. I gobbled down some chips and a burger, then cycled up the road to The Lodges at Transport World. These apartments are boutique delights each with a theme. We’re in New Zealand Toys. After a quick bike wash I made the mistake of settling onto the sofa with the TV remote. I remained in a semicomatose state there until mum and dad knocked on the door once their flight arrived.
After a lot of hugs, some stories and a few more hugs it was off to bed to prepare for the last day. It still doesn’t quite seem real.