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Dunedin (said Du NEE den) is the very picture of a perfect Scottish city here in the south island. It is darling and hilly, has astonishingly beautiful architecture, the Cadbury factory and is also where you end up if you take the train from Middlemarch after pedaling the Otago Central Rail trail, which I did. It was gravelly (too much so, according to some pedallers), sometimes a bit mind-numbing, often hand-numbing and occasionally very windy. I nearly hit a sheep (avoided) and got to gaze upon a loping heron, which may have caused me to utter an expletive into the Central Otago prairie.

The snake bite is a reference to two parallel punctures I had in my innertube upon arriving to Dunedin, now fixed and my bike awaiting its nightly storage in the “wee room” (their words, not mine), before heading somewhat north past some boulders of note (really, everything here is so incredible, you even have to stop and see rocks, and this after I missed the pancake rocks near Greymouth).

I rode out onto the Otago peninsula today and had the same experience I often have when I am out pedaling. Wow, I’m weak, I think. So slow! I look at the speedometer and urge it to eek up higher. And it won’t. And then I turn around and pedal like the wind, and realize I had been riding uphill the whole time. There’s probably a parable for our times hidden in there. Let me know if you find it.

T-minus three or four days until I return the bike. I will be both relieved and sad to see it go. Oooh! another opportunity for parable-hunting. Not for me, though. I’m working on the conservation-of-matter-in-panniers-problem. I’ll let you know when I get it solved, but it may involve eating a second dinner.

Not that I don’t deserve it.