In a world increasingly preoccupied with throwaway materialistic things; where people are constantly busy earning money to pay for those things, or so their children can have those things;
This is the story of my dreams of travelling the world by bicycle. Because it's there. And because I dont want to die without experiencing the truly important things in life .

A sense of wonder and a sense of adventure.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Anyone For A Cruise?

Day 9.

It poured down all last night but I’d seen the weather forecast and knew that it would clear. So I mucked around a bit since I only had 110kms to go to the ferry. I didn’t need to be at the terminal until 5.30pm.

I had a chance to leave soap suds on a number of different wash hand basins in the motor camp and have an extended morning shower. Then it was off to the Levin McDonalds for breakfast. A breakfast I would rather forget. The main reason being, to post my blog and give the rain a chance to ease off.

Then it was off down the coast into a slight headwind. I used to spend a lot of time as a teenager cycling this coastline and it has plenty of memories for me. It’s also where I met Adi for the first time. So between the two of us we pretty much sorted out all the great places you could park up for a bit of ‘let’s get to know one another’. In those days I owned a sports car. The things you have to do to catch a girl’s eye. Women aye. They won’t even look at a guy with a bicycle, but get a sports car and your battle is almost won.

Lovely backcountry Church.

As I approached wellington I tried a few cycle ways but they were as crap as I remember them. Invariably you go off course or the condition of the seal cuts your speed by 10km’hr. And of course you have to weave between the kiddies and dogs. I know this area and I still went way off course.

I still got to Wellington with plenty of time. So I zoomed around the CBD annoying the locals and pretending not to know English. Once I was sick of that I went to MacDonald’s for an ice-cream and to use the internet. Unfortunately this time the joke was on me because school was out so I had to listen to cackling teenage girls for an hour only then to find out that the Wellington CBD has free Wi-Fi.

Now I wait for the ferry. Sailing conditions MODERATE they say. Is moderate all your dinner on the deck or just so green you can’t face eating anything?

I don’t know what it is but sometimes I find New Zealanders hard to understand and I live here. I really don’t know how foreigners cope. Two examples today were firstly when I pushed my bike onto the ferry and the guy said “over there on the knots” I mean what the hell does that mean. Luckily I already knew where to put my bike so I put it there. But later I figured out that what he must have meant was ‘put it over there where there are ropes to tie it to the wall’. All I can assume is that knots is sea talk for ropes! The other example was cycling along earlier in the day when I approached a stop go man and it looked a bit dodgy up there so I  looked for reassurance from stop/go man because he had the sign in neither the stop or go position. He said “you’re right mate” Now NZers all know that means go for it. But any person from another country would be thinking ‘yes I’m ok but do I go or not?’

The New Ferry ( Currently Broken). Mines Parked Behind.
I ended the day on the ferry and it was a calm crossing so my roast chicken, backed potatoes and diced veges stayed down. I have to say ferry food has improved over the years. The ferry cliental hasn’t though. Apart from the fact that a good proportion on board were truck drivers, (you can imagine my joy at that. They’re trying to kill you on the road during the day and then you have to sit down and share chicken with them at night.), there also seems like a higher than average number of social drop kicks on ferry crossings. It’s certainly not the image that the Interislander company projects in their advertising. I didn’t see any young upwardly mobile couples sipping wine on the deck. Just patched bikies and what looked like the rest of their extended families.

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