Sometimes you may be pedaling (albeit slowly) up the first of what on your altitude map looks like the first of three spires of doom, and you may find that up at the top of King’s point/lookout, there is a family from Mumbai, all cameras and laughter and beautiful blowing matching blue and gold scarf and salvar cameez (sp?), and they may ask if they can pose next to you for a picture. And you may not be looking your best, for after 3 days of headwind and 1 day of stultifying humidity, who among us would? And you will say yes, because how could you say no to a family so charming and happy and so incredulous at your undertaking, talking back and forth in Hindi, which despite having studied briefly, you understand nothing at all of.
And so somewhere on a highway, in a van, in a purse, in a camera on a memory card, there is a picture of me in cycling garb, happily smiling with the family that found me noteworthy enough to bother taking a picture with.
In other words, still alive. Clarification: pizza was a whitebait pizza, where the whitebait (some kind of small, mild fish) was mixed with a beaten egg. It did not cause a sad stomach saga, but it makes for a heck of a story, it would seem.
Today was my best day of pedaling, despite the three spires of doom, which followed yesterday’s three spires from Hades, and precede cycling up the Haast Pass, which is probably enough to foil mere mortals. Luckily, while mortal, I am feeling particularly unmere lately. The radio station in my head trudges along, but is continuously interrupted by “Cripple Creek,” sometimes sung in my version of a hillbilly accent, and sometimes not. This because of the scads upon scads of creeks I cross, each one with its own, numbered bridge. They are numbered in the thousands, and I believe it. Today there was a time when I was passing through the bird-and-plant named creeks, passing Rata (a tree), Kea (a bird) and Kiwi (another bird). I do not know what tomorrow’s creeks will be called. Any guesses?
I have taken hundreds of pictures, and promise to bore you all with them (but not with all of them) at a time and from a place where I am not on coin-operated internet in a supermarket (their name, not mine).
New Zealand is lovely beyond my imagination and I owe a set of people shoutouts from here, which I will do when I can open more than one window at a time. Heather (See previous post’s comments) hooked me up with a fab. breakfast, where I ate poached eggs for the first time in my life, and did not make fun of my excessive coffee consumption. What more could you want from newly-minted internet friends?
And now I return to the drizzle.