New Zealand post 10: A VERY GREY DAY
I have lost my cycle jacket and gloves. Disaster! I know for sure I had them coming into Reefton. Must’ve left them all wrapped up in the bedspread in that funny hotel or maybe on the back of the chair at the breakfast spot – I scrutinize the photos, but no clue. I send a photo of the hotel to Steve and Dahlene with a gentle hint that if they happen to be anywhere close, they should pop in and check…Good move, they are found, yippee, what luck! My saviours are heading South today, so we are waiting in our motel room in Greymouth for them to be delivered. Great timing, as it’s chilly today and looks like we’re heading into weather!
We’re back on the perfect path now and it runs alongside the ocean to begin with, then alongside a river, then through the forest. All very pleasant, until an icy drizzle sets in, which by and by becomes a steady downpour.
We pull into a cafe first chance we get. The sign says ” Exquisitely Delicious Pies available here”, hmmm, what are the chances? The store man assures us they are award-winning. We decide to give it another go…
Verdict: if these are award-winning, I’d hate to come up against the opposition. Not a patch on Peregrines! “Ok, that’s me. No more Kiwi pies.”
We hang about long enough to dry off – Steve happily talking Brexit & the recent election with the ex- Brit behind the counter, then load on fresh, warm kit and head back out into a very grey day.
We pass a sign that I find very amusing and ironic ” Who poos and wees in the Bush?” “Possums do, birds do, snails do. NOT YOU!”
(But we encourage you to do your civic duty and get out there and lay down poison-baited traps, so we can kill off all the wildlife while showing our respect for the environment).
It rains on and off, then comes down PROPERLY, as luck would have it, just as we arrive at a little covered trail shelter. We gratefully huddle down, eat muffins and gaze out onto a very dreary scene. I wonder how many other cyclists have sat here just like us and looked at the rain…
The plan was to sleep in the mountain tonight at Cowboy Paradise, but this is looking more unlikely by the minute, as the rain shows no sign of easing up. This shelter is a bit like Hotel California – we never should have checked in in the first place. We were pretty happy out in the rain, but now the prospect of heading out into it again is daunting! Since we’re not moving, we’re getting really cold. We make a decision to head out as soon as there’s a lull.
There’s just one snag. The lull doesn’t come. Instead the downpour turns to a deluge. It’s 15h45 and we’re still stuck at Hotel California and freezing our bollocks off!!
Now it’s getting too late to push on either way. Steve is adamant we need to go back
10km to Kumara, the home of the award-winning pies. I hate going back, but in this instance it seems like the wisest choice.
At 16h15 we bite the bullet, dash out into the deluge and put foot back towards Kumara.
Just 2km from our destination, my blood sugar plunges down a mine shaft and I hit the wall spectacularly. I am literally shaking! I dig in my bar bag and shove some chocolate-covered almonds into my mouth, then realize Powerade will be quicker, so I chase with that. It does the trick and before we know it, we have negotiated a room and are under a hot shower and hanging up our sodden kit.
Don’t feel like cooking, so we eat in the hotel dining room. The waitress here is so jolly hockey stix, it’s frightening. Everything is fantastic, even our cappuccino order. She actually skipped into the kitchen…🙈 Steve says it’s wonderful and thinks I’m a bitch.
Seems the West Coast is in for some heavy rain the next few days, so we need to recalibrate. As we’re fast learning, Summer in New Zealand is far from Summery…!