Thursday, December 18, 2008

12/18/2008 - Flat is Beautiful

After finishing my post for the day yesterday, I wandered before bed and actually took a few pictures. This was my favorite, just off the campsite.

IMGP0823.JPGShockingly, sheep are in this picture.

IMGP0820.JPGDinner was a Lemon and Paeroa Soda, milk, muesli, and tortilla chips. I believe all areas of the food pyramid were represented.

Crashed out around 9PM (what am I, ninety?) and woke around 7AM. Breakfast was the last of my muesli and milk.

Headed out on what turned out to be a perfect day. Hundreds of clouds dressed in their cotton ball best were lofting, leaving much of the sky clear and warm. Traffic was light and the hills were mild when present.

IMGP0824.JPGThe solar monster in all her glory. Charging up my battery so I can keep up this blog thing.

Stopped in a little town for groceries (especially lunch food) and continued on my way. Averaged about 12mph today, much better than other days.

IMGP0825.JPGThe hobbit in this picture dove out of the way just before I took it.

Lunch was good ol' PB&J and some chips. Perfect temperature, sat at a little rest area at a picnic table and just drank it all in.

IMGP0826.JPGYeah, I know. Some thirteen year old girls called and asked for their shirt back. Man, I am just trying to even out the arms!

Coasted into Darvaville around 2PM, plenty of time to set up camp and then rove around town. Picked up more groceries and a summer reading book.

IMGP0829.JPGMy first Jack Reacher book. Had I known more about Jack Reacher at this time, I would not have taken this picture. Jack Reacher would not allow his picture to be taken. And he would not be smiling.

Had a comfortable hour or so of reading, then cooked (yes, cooked!) dinner, bit of pasta for energy tomorrow.

IMGP0831.JPGIt's much easier to get me to cook when all of the cooking resources are outdoors.

As I was washing up, started talking to the couple who were just down from me. Very friendly, they are on holiday from England. for 3 weeks. Mark, Natalie, and their son Charlie Olbertz are tons of fun and kindly supply me with my first beer in New Zealand. Natalie is a nurse in training and we talk about the differences between nursing in England and nursing in the US. She notes that the nurses basically don't talk to the doctors and vice-versa - it is very old-school there, a lot of the older doctors want nurses there to change bed pans and dress wounds and that's about it. The younger ones seem to be better about this, but this lack of communication is pretty rampant. They are planning to move here to New Zealand as soon as Natalie finishes her training. Mark works for a shipping company which just opened an office in Auckland. He has done some competitive biking and obviously stays in it. Charlie is 2.5 years old and tons of fun as well. We play a bit of catch and he skinned his knee twice. Good kid activities. I fix his knee by laying hands, which returns him to full play again. Very enjoyable evening and we exchange e-mails.

IMGP0832.JPGCharlie is NOT a girl. Just got the surfer thing early. Mark would like to stress this.

By about 9PM, it's Charlie's bed time and theirs as well. And mine, probably triggered by living with the grandparents for a few weeks. If only I could get up as early as they do. . .

Well, off to another day. It sounds like the ride up to the Kauri Forest will be one long hill. At least it's only 30 miles or so.


  1. I never, ever what to hear you say "Hundreds of clouds dressed in their cotton ball best were lofting, leaving much of the sky clear and warm" again, ever...I mean it.

  2. Hi Ryan, hope all is well and you are able to replenish your stock of tyres and tubes to keep you going and more importantly your body is fighting fit and keeping you going!!! We wondered if we would ever bump into you again on our travels but it wasn't to be and we are now back in England to the cold weather -3 degrees (which is cold for us and even more so when we've been use to sunnier shores of late). Hope you are having the time of your life and relish every second of your travels, p.s enjoying your blog.... we also went through Masterton and checked it out for you, you're in luck - you could possibly have about 2 patients per week to keep you busy in your new post.... - seriously though, it's a nice town and fairly bigger than other towns and not too far from Wellington - nice choice in fact as opposed to other places we saw on our travels - the films 'The hills have eyes' or 'Deliverence' came to mind on a few of them...speak to you soon and take care for Now, Mark, Natalie and Charlie. lol x


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.