Tour Aotearoa – Day 2.1

After dreaming about James demanding 3 sachets of porridge for breakfast and not understanding that it was unreasonable we woke up at 7 and we’re having breakfast by 7:30. We both slept terribly.

What has happened to us?! Gone are the days of 10, 10:30, 11am starts!! Proper bike packers now you see… HAH!

Our watches tell us our ‘body battery’ based on how well we have slept and the exercise done. Usually we’ll wake with a body battery between 90-100, this morning James’ was 71 and mine was 82. Oh dear, with a long day in the saddle planned this wasn’t the best start.

After packing up and refilling water bottles, we set off at 8:30, the sun was already shining but it was still cool in the shade. The roads were blissfully empty, it was great.

We set off and I felt like my saddle was too low. Not that I wanted to moan as the chief mechanic on the trip reeeeally enjoys it when I moan but it was hurting my knee so it had to be fixed.

We stopped to put it up again as it had slipped down (apparently not due to me eating too many mince pies) and off we went. Mooing at fields of cows, some things never change

Only one body in this picture has muscles that were working today…

Off we went, only to stop 2km later to refix the seat post again. The chief mechanics patience was wearing thinner by the minute.

Eventually we got onto hill number 1 of the day. By this point the sun was out in full force and it was wayyyyyyy too hot to be out cycling up 10% gradient hills

Eventually we made it to the top and flew down the other side. After a little bit of flat, there was another hill. My saddle had dropped again so we stopped under a tree to fix it again. I say we, I did nothing but hold the bike. Chief mechanic did all the work then CLONK, James swears, and the snapped bolt pings into the gutter. Shit.

Something is missing here…..

Of course James had the tools and spares to get it fixed. I knew I kept him around for a reason.

Roadside assistance is better than what the AA offers

Eventually he fixes it up and we get on our merry way. Passing through a small town called Hira, where to our disbelief a dairy is open! WE CAN HAVE ICE CREAM!

A delightful tailwind gets us to Nelson in no time as we cruise along doing over 40kph, not a bad feat considering my bike loaded weighed in 28.3kg and James’ just over 27.

We had planned to stop at the beach and boil up a freeze dried pasta meal we had with us, until we got to some traffic lights and saw a fish and chip shop open – yes p-lease!

We ordered and waited. As we were waiting james took off his helmet to investigate why the fabric in his helmet had been ticking his head. He takes off his helmet and sitting there is a cockroach the size of a dollar coin (pound coin) YUCK!

We sit under a tree surrounded by seagulls and demolish a burger and chips. Athlete food that. Before too long we set off again heading to Wakefield. We’ve cycled this way before so know what is to come, long, boring straight roads.

The trail we are on is called the great taste trail. Now, I’m not sure if it’s called this because wine is made in the region or the number of farm animals we pass along the way, cows, sheep, pigs, and even some chooks. Which of course James made friends with!

Little chicky friends
Hamish and his pals hanging out

Part of today’s ride took us through spooners tunnel, a 1.5km old railway tunnel which I think may be the longest in NZ, or I’ve just made that up. Either way it was long, dark and spooky.

We made it to camp, where we had the privilege of paying $1 for a cold shower (James’ was warm, I drew the short straw!)

For dinner we had the freeze dried pasta, which turned out to be absolutely disgusting so we had to put in some tesco stuffing flavoured chippies. Delivered all the way from the UK by a lovely friend of mine

James was not a fan of the pasta…

By 9pm we were tucked up in bed and ready for a good nights sleep!

The adventure continues…

(And of course Merry Christmas to all our friends and famalam around the world. Hope you all have a nice day)

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