Friday, November 16, 2007

Flat and Cold

Day 51
Methven to Geraldine
Distance: 77.5 k
Time: 3:57
Avg Speed: 19.5 kph
Terrain: flat as flat can be
Location: 44 05’ 45” S, 171 14’ 39.7” E

We left the comfort of our little hostel in Methven this morning. It is always interesting hanging out at those places. One of the guests there was taking a class at the Pudding Hill Parachute School on how to become a parachute photographer. I asked how many jumps he had under his belt figuring it would be less than 50, but to my surprise he replied that he had about 320 jumps and needed to get around 500 to be a competent photographer. He added that one of the instructors, who is the premier parachute photographer in the world, had about 26,000 jumps to his credit. I don’t even think I have been in a car 26,000 separate times and this guy has jumped out of a plane that many times. I now know all I have ever wanted to know about parachute photography and video.
The road was flat as can be and except for the breeze we created by riding it was calm as can be. The weather was quite crisp the entire day and we were bundled up the entire time. I thought we were being wussies, but we ran into a Dutch cycle touring couple and they had just as many clothes on as we did. They have been in New Zealand for as long as we had and we were the first cycle tourists they had seen. They were numbers 4 and 5 for us. Not that we are keeping track though. We saw number 6 tonight while eating dinner in camp. It is a regular epidemic.
We sped across the farmlands today both as a result of the topography, but also out of a need to get out of the weather. The low last night was around 34˚ F and it didn’t get too much above that as we rode. We made it to Geraldine around 1:00 pm and while drinking hot coffee the sun came out and the whole place warmed a bit. It didn’t last long, just long enough to for the weather to thumb its nose at us. We are heading into the mountains tomorrow so our average should get out of the high teens and back down where it belongs. We shall see how saucy we are.
We are both pretty knackered tonight from the ride today. The first day back after a rest day is always the hardest. We should be raring to go tomorrow. We have sultana scones to eat on the road so we have to ride hard so we can eat those. I’ll let you know next time how the scones were if I remember.
Until next time.

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