Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Gods Must Be Crazy

Day 82
Dunedin: Another Rest Day

Messages come at random times and in all shapes and sizes. You can never really know what lies ahead. That’s what life is all about sometimes; random events that really do mean something…

Today we met a new friend and we met him in the strangest place – on the road in a right hand turn lane. Chris and I were had just made a dash across two lanes to make a right hand turn when a van in front of us was straddling the turn lane and the straight lane. I thought to myself “Great, another Kiwi driver…”. Then window rolled down and a guy started to lean out. “This should be interesting…” was my next thought. I rolled up next to the guy and he was smiling and said something like “you’re riding your bikes around?”. I replied and then he started to chat as the light turned green. He talked at bit more and then looked behind him and said “The Kiwis are getting mad” and then signaled that he was going to turn and pull over. We pulled over with him and then chatted for the next forty five minutes. He was an avid cyclist himself and a kindred outdoor spirit. We talked about everything from bicycles to New Zealand culture to environmental sustainability. This guy was full of life and passion – he’s the most energetic person we have met in New Zealand.
After saying goodbye we did an urban tour of Dunedin on our bikes. We found the bus station, toured the University campus and ate sub sandwiches at the local pizza joint. The whole time I kept thinking about our chance meeting with Eden. There was something more to it than just a random interaction. I guess I couldn’t really put my finger on it, but it was refreshing.
The afternoon was spent repacking our panniers for the road ahead. By Wednesday we’ll be at the top of the South Island riding towards Abel Tasman National Park. Towards evening we walked the beach and on the way back we ran into Eden again. He was on his way to the pool. We chatted for awhile once more and then invited him to stop by for some beers. Chris and I haven’t done any entertaining since we left home so we were a bit nervous about having a guest. Sounds funny, but when you spend so much time in a foreign country where everyone does their own thing, you get used to just having one other person to talk with. Anyway, Eden stopped by a bit later and we talked for hours like we were old friends.
We said goodbye and hope to keep in touch. Perhaps we’ll see Eden again - I hope so. Perhaps the meeting today was more than just chance.

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