27 November 2004


Since I last wrote the good majority of you have indulged on heaps of turkey, potatoes, stuffing, cranberries, pies...  All kinds of good stuff -- I had Indian food.  Ah well, indulging over Christmas will taste that much better.  I hope that all of you had a great Thanksgiving and that all of the travels involved went well.  Have fun at work tomorrow. ; )

Since I last wrote Windsor ( Sydney ’s sister) and I hijacked Sydney 's car and left ChCh on Tuesday.  We drove to Mt. Cook in the rain and hiked a little bit in the drizzle.  It was very cold that night and has been since.  Often snow falls down to 500m as opposed to the 1000m that is common for this time of year.  In our attempt to see NZ's tallest mountain, we were foiled due to the rain and fog.  Disappointed and discouraged by the weather, we left mid-morning on Wednesday and headed to Wanaka.  It rained there too.

In Wanaka we spent time in the first 3-D maze and a puzzling world/fun house thing.  It was a good time, but not quite what I came to NZ for, even if Wanaka is the first place to create 3-D mazes.  On a cold rainy day, our options for entertainment are limited and Windsor and I ended up having heaps of fun.

The following day we did some light tramping on Mt. Roy just outside of Wanaka and attempted to go to Mt. Aspiriring but was thwarted by a creek that had to be forged in order to continue on the road to the park.  Considering Sydney wasn’t thrilled at the idea of being without her car we decided she would have been extremely upset if we brought it back flooded.

Friday, I got back on the bike. As I pulled away from the hostel I felt renewed and refreshed. Being locked up in the laconic car has been draining. I rode into Queenstown, a mere 70k over the Crown Range Road .  What made the ride interesting is the snow that accumulated on my jacket as I climbed the highest sealed road in NZ. Despite the wind, snow and inability to feel my feet it wasn't that bad. As I paused to dry off and enjoy the clouded view at the top I felt powerful and a little crazy. I could have easily gotten in the car and ridden to Queenstown, but I had something to prove. I am not exactly sure what that something is, but I guess I proved it.

As mentioned, I didn’t feel my feet most of the way up, things were only compounded as I hurled myself down the sweeping corners of the hill. On a normatl day I would have jumped at the opportunity to do this hill several times as I love the rush of passing cars on a good downhill. Today I just wanted to hitch a ride as my feet, legs, face and fingers burned in pain from the cold wind pounding on me.

We have since passed through Central Otago and were I rode on a rail trail today (55k) and I wish I had fat tires many parts of the trail.  It was great to get off the road and enjoy the quiet lonely space that the rail trail passed through. Most of the time I had no idea were the road was, and didn’t care.

We are now in Dunedin .  By the way, it is still raining...  Hopefully we'll get one day of sun on our trip before heading back to ChCh in a day or so.






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