Broken, then Fixed
21 November 2004


Amazingly quite a bit has happened since I have written last.  The evening after I wrote I was able to go sea kayaking around the Kaikoura Peninsula.  It was a great time, and renewed the love I have for being on the water. I have not had the opportunity to be in a kayak since I lived up north almost five years ago. The ability to see seals and other wildlife was thwarted due to windy conditions and people on the trip that struggled paddling. The few I were able to see lounging about I was able to see a couple but due to the wind and water splashing over the hull of the boat I didn't think it was a good idea to expose the camera to the elements. 

The following day I headed out on my two day trip to Christchurch , hoping to meet up with Sydney when I arrived.  About 20k after a fantastic ride along the coast I stopped to adjust my saddle due to some knee pain I've been having.  In my attempt to tighten the seat clamp the bolt broke.  This bolt being the only easily replaced piece of hardware for my bike that I don't have a spare for.  So thanks to the owner of the service station/tearoom and heaps of kiwi ingenuity we got it working.  Not quite fixed but working.  It involved using a bolt that was too long and too big and drilling out the clamp.  This unfortunately didn't hold enough to keep the seat up for more than 10-15k before it dropped about four cm.  Because of this I headed back to Kaikoura to try to find a replacement, but due to the small size of the town there were no options for replacements unless I rented a new bike!  Considering the situation I decided to hop a bus instead of attempt to ride 200k to Christchurch .

A little background information before I continue… In November of last year (2003) I was introduced by a common friend to a girl named Sydney . Turns out she was going to NZ to bike too! The difference being she was going for a year as opposed to my measly six weeks. Anyway, we have met up once and e-mailed each other regularly since then and planned to meet up at some point while I’m in NZ. As her sister and mom have been visiting I have not been able to get in contact with her as they did their own travels.

Just before I hopped on the bus I checked my e-mail and was pleasantly surprised to get an e-mail from Sydney informing me that she was getting back into ChCh and I was welcome to not only stay with them but enjoy a Thanksgiving feast Saturday!  Had my bolt not broken I would not have arrived until later on Sunday.  So this excited me greatly.  I phoned her and she picked me up in the square when I arrived.  Their dinner plans changed slightly so I enjoyed heaps of jambalaya when I got there instead of thanksgiving, but still a much better alternative to the food I have been cooking in my single pot.

Yesterday Sydney and I went for a great ride along the south part of ChCh into the sprawling towns outside of the city.  The 60-70k without panniers was amazing -- my speed climbing fairly steep hills was as fast, if not faster than some of my daily averages. It makes it hard to think about putting the bags back on my bike.  I have tried, unsuccessfully, to get Sydney to join me on the remainder of my trip as the companionship would renew my spirit to bike.  Due to her need to earn some money I will be alone again tomorrow.  Not sure where I will be going from here and not 100% how I will be going but I need to leave tomorrow as I only have twelve days left before heading back up north.

By chance Sydney 's father is coming into Auckland on the tenth of December, a day after I fly out, so I will be able to go with them to Auckland saving me a flight/bus/train ticket.  Also, we will be kayaking in Able Tasman before going to the North Island .  This was something I wanted to do anyway, but opted against it due to limited time. Amazing how God works things out so wonderfully.  Now if I can only figure out where to go from here...






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