Tour Aotearoa – Day 15

Ah, awoken by the blissful sounds of our upstairs neighbours screaming shitbags children and there shoes made of concrete. Oh it’s good to be home. James: could you imagine if she read it. Me: I don’t care, there’s no need to squeal at 6am.

There’s nothing quite like sleeping in your own bed. The plan was to have a relaxed breakfast, pack everything up and leave home at 9:30 to go to iRide bike shop to change the tyres, get me a new saddle as my now muscular but fat arse had managed to break yet another one then pop into my work to say hello and thank them for the support as they have been incredible then jump on the boat at 1:30. Simples.

We had made the decision to continue in the face of possible Covid-19 lock down. Depending on where we are in the country we will just have to make do. (I’m still not sure this was the right decision)

Obviously, at 9:15 I was still laying in bed FaceTiming my parents as I hadn’t spoken to them in 2 weeks and nothing had been packed yet!

Eventually we left home at 10:30 (good to see we were back to running on James and Victoria time after 2 days of 5am starts!) the sun had come back out after yesterday’s awful weather and it was good to be home.

We’ve been very lucky with car drivers this trip and only encountered a few arseholes, of course it had to happen at home that we would encounter another. Flying down the hill, which has a speed limit of 50k (without outing myself to partaking in illegal behaviour, let’s just say it’s very easy to get over 50k going down that hill) so I always sit in the middle of the road and fly down. I got a vibe that someone was close to me (after nearly losing the end of my finger in a bike crash a month ago I am now very wary of other road users being around me and have a good sixth sense) I look over my shoulder and sure enough there’s a car about 10cm away from my wheel. At the bottom he speeds off north and we head south. Glaring at him through my sunglasses didn’t really work when they are mirrored and I’ve learnt swearing at them doesn’t work so not worth my energy.

It feelt like a bit of a tail wind into town, or it’s just nice to be on our usual route. We make it to the bike shop and everyone was super stoked to see us. Rebecca had even got some vegan hot cross buns and toasted them for us (I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I’ve been the worlds worst vegan on this trip and eaten more fish and cheese in the past 2 weeks than I have in the past 4 years! So much so the guys we were riding with questioned if I ever was vegan!!)

James in the shop had put some new riding gloves aside for me as the ones I’d been wearing had already worn down the padding and due to my dumb nerve damage I needed to wear them. After running around like a headless chicken trying to get things sorted eventually at 12:10 James was sorted and ready to go. We had to be at the harbour at 12:30 so there wasn’t enough time to pop into my work.

Instead I logged onto my work email just to have a quick catch up of things I’d missed. 486 emails to be precise! A quick hello and goodbye email to my team, and we were off.

I know they’ll be reading this, so thank you so much guys for your support. It honestly means the world to me knowing that you’re all cheering us on, giving me kudos on strava and following the map.

At the harbour we bump into another cyclist James who we were with for the first week up north. He too was from Wellington so had enjoyed an evening at home and a relaxing morning. It was good to see him again and swap stories as we had last seen him at the start of the bridge to nowhere trail 3/4 days ago.

Jersey James needs to work on his selfie skills after chopping off Kiwi James’ face!

I find that I’m overtly aware of everyone coughing, sniffling and generally looking unwell. Covid has me on edge. Conversations all around the boat were about the virus and the government response. People seemed to be pleased with how the NZ government have been handling it, and mocked the UK’s pitiful response.

We sat on a great table on the boat with kiwi James, with a view out the front of the ship. As we set sail, Kiwi James notices some dolphins at the bow, it was incredible to see.

The journey was rough across the straight and even had me feeling a bit seasick which rarely happens. As soon as we got in the sounds it was calm and beautiful. We all had a little nap.

Another TA rider was on the boat, he had started 3 days after us and still managed to catch us up! He too was from Australia and didn’t know what to do if he should go home as his flight had been cancelled due to Covid.

Eventually the boat docks in Picton, only an hour late, and we head off on our merry way. The road out in a slight hill, last time we biked this route it felt like a reeeeal hill, this time, it just felt flat!

The Sounds were looking beautiful, and it was nice to be back on familiar roads again.

We make it to the campsite and bump into Glen (Wogga Wogga man with the really well packed bike) he also was now debating cycling back to Wellington and getting a flight back home to Oz. Everyone was on edge.

It was noticeably colder, so after cooking up some pasta we head to our cabin to eat it under the duvet with a cup of tea and keep warm.

The adventure continues…

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