Saturday, December 20, 2008

12/20/2008 - The Campfire Principle

Well, the day dawned with my usual rethink of my previous plan. Last night, I had decided to make it all the way to Rawene, about 50 miles away. This puts me through the kauri forests and on my way to the far north.

But waking up with sore legs has a way of making you rethink things. "Maybe another day to let my legs get better." "Isn't it supposed to rain today?" "Is there a next campsite that is closer?"

But in the end, pride won out and off I went, directly up a steep hill. With a bit of a shock, a hawk or bird-of-prey of some kind flushed up about 10 feet away from me, then lofted lazily over the bluff.

IMGP0845.JPGIstarted at the very bottom of the valley behind me. Ah, the smell of dripping sunscreen in the morning!

Actually, the day was magnificent, and soon I found myself dropping quickly into the thick Kauri forest after a very long 5 mile climb.

IMGP0846.JPGThe Kauri forest before dropping down into it. I get to cross all those big ridges today!

IMGP0847.JPGPart of the long climb before dropping into the forest. The ocean is in the distance and the wind is fierce. It is also directly in my face.

IMGP0848.JPGThe land goes from the picture above this one almost directly into the thick forest. These two trees seemed like good gatekeepers, hence the picture.

The bike through the Kauri Forest was really a highlight. Lots of time spent climbing, but much more gentle grades for the most part. This meant that I could concentrate on the scenery and the extremely varied bird calls, from a "whip-o-whil" to some bird that sounded like the calliope at a circus. Little traffic came through, and what did was kind enough to give plenty of room, and usually a honk or a thumbs up if I was on a grade.

There was a short hike to see the mondo gigantor tree (the king of the forest), which I took the bike on.

IMGP0850.JPGThis does not give a good indication of size. That trunk is about 75 feet away and is something like 20-25 feet in diameter.

IMGP0851.JPGA small house could actually fit up in the top of this tree, just for scale's sake.

The only negative to this hike was that I talked to the lady at the hot dog stand (had to get one, running low on calories) and, when questioned, she let me know that a "really big hill" stood between the forest and Rawene.

"Is is worse than the ones south of the forest?" I asked, hopefully.

"Oh, yes! It is a lot longer and steeper than those." Not what I was hoping to hear. Oh well, no choice but to push on.

Well, she was right about one thing: that sucker was STEEP. Was only about 2km to the top, though, so not very long.

IMGP0852.JPGOK, so the guns have dropped to airguns. It still felt good to get to the top of this ridiculous hill and I was celebrating.

IMGP0853.JPGThe bay from up above.

It was somewhere around this point that my oxygen-deprived mind decided that the same force in the universe that causes campfire smoke to always head right for you was also in charge of headwinds. No matter what direction I turned, I kept getting just blasted. Downhill, it just slowed me down to comfortable speeds. Uphill, though, was torturous. I'd just get into a pedal rhythm when I would see the grass bend and the wind whistle would start, and all of a sudden the pedals became a lot harder to push. On average, it was two drops in a gear for the headwind today. And I often had to pedal with some force even downhill. Points for driving a car.

Met an Austrian hitchhiker today, nice guy, ran into him twice as I caught up to him. He is planning to camp deep in the woods for a few nights to get away from the crowds. Not sure what crowds he is talking about, but Herbert is determined.

Around 3PM, the sky had become overcast (as they often do), except this time it dumped down rain. I only had about 15 miles left, so did not get my raingear - it felt good for awhile, even if it did sting on downhills.

IMGP0854.JPGThe rain had lightened up enough that I could get into the waterproof pouch for the camera.

Needless to say, it got a bit chilly. Shoes, socks, shirt, and shorts might as well have gone through the wash.

But, finally pulled into Rawene around 6PM after 7 hours of biking today. 50 miles: A new record!

Found the campground (alas, at the top of another steep hill) and pitched my tent in the rain. 15 minutes later, the rain stopped completely. Gah.

I didn't care, though. I was in the warm shower. Chills were gone.

IMGP0855.JPGOn the way into Rawene during a short slowdown of the rain.

Bought a frozen pizza and made some PB&J while it cooked. I was calorie deficient. Wolfed it down to a backdrop like this:

IMGP0858.JPGThis was well AFTER I put up my tent.

Off to bed, another 40 miles on the plan for tomorrow.

12/19/2008 - The Mother of all Blowouts

It dawned yet another beautiful day here. A few scattered clouds, a soft breeze, and copious sunshine were the recipe for the day. Packed up camp and was off by about 9:30. and I left Dargaville not suspecting that I would be back within three hours. Very pleasant cycling, little in the way of major hills (though a few), passing many farms intermixed with deep and dark forests of pine, Kauri, and fern.

IMGP0833.JPGA quick glance up the sideroad into the forests of Middle Earth.

About 15 miles out of Dargaville, just after waving to a couple of guys fixing a fence, I heard a rifle shot. Having just been reading my Jack Reacher novel (where he is helping the Secret Service protect the vice-president), my well-trained mind immediately sprang to life. The shot appeared to have come behind me. It was a low sound, and a crack, not a shotgun, probably high-powered rifle. A quick glance showed that it was, indeed, a high-pressure explosion, though not the calibre I expected - instead of a .300 magnum, it was a 700x32c, the size of my rear tire. Which had blown out completely.

I hate rear blowouts - it is always harder to get the rear wheel off than the front. But I pulled over and pulled the tube.

IMGP0834.JPGThe source of the rifle shot sound that made the fence guys jump.

OK, I could deal with this. Spent 30 minutes in total getting things off and repairing this. Had just packed the fixed tube in the tire when I looked at the tire.


The entire tire was blown out for about an inch and a half. This is not good as I do not have a spare tire, only spare tubes. Put a tube in this and the tube simply extrudes through the big tire hole and pops again. All right, MacGuyver, what have you got?

IMGP0836.JPGSaved again by my friend, duct tape. And three tire patches.

I used my last three patches to hold the flap of tire down, then put on duct tape just past the bead (to help hold it on). I switched the tires so this was on the front rather than back (less weight) and put the tube and tire on the rear.

Was just finishing up after about an hour and a half when a man came up to me. "Need a ride?" he asked. He owned the dairy farm where I happened to have stopped. After a short conversation, he stated that he was heading into Darvaville. There is a motorcycle shop there that might have tires. Made a quick call from the house, and sure enough, they had tires and tubes that would fit my front wheel.

So, yet again, I was saved by New Zealand hospitality. This man owned three dairy farms, and obviously worked very hard. Had 5 kids, eldest was 14. We talked comfortably as we headed back through to Darvaville. He left me at the store while he picked up some parts, then returned to pick me up with my new tire and tube - a smaller one, better for touring anyway.

I offered lunch and gas money, but no dice. "I was heading there anyway". So, with a return trip to the dairy, my bike was quickly back in action and off I went.

IMGP0837.JPGThe dairy farm, home of yet another savior.

Made it into the Kauri Forest and the Top 10 campground. Realized I had been here before:

IMG_1990This is back in 2003. That tent and coat got stolen on the way back to America.

IMGP0844.JPGThe same place today. Just as nice and well-kept.

I decided to do the night hike of the forest, looking for Kiwis. Not a successful hike, and no pictures as, well, it was dark. Interesting, though.

Bit of pasta, then the hike, then to bed.

IMGP0839.JPGActually, the sauce was horrific.

IMGP0840.JPGBeautiful evening, just before the night walk.

Good night, computer power almost out!

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.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

12/17/2008 - Dismembered legs and Kauri trees

A truly pleasant morning. Using my fancy kitchenette, 6 eggs and toast were prepared and put down with gusto, along with coffee and milk. Thirty-four miles today, half of that on Highway 1, the only artery to the Northland.

Took my leave of Helen and Rob and started out. Spit a bit of rain, but nothing serious. A nice 68-70 deg F by my bike computer.

IMGP0798.JPGFantastic place. Where else does a complimentary ride to a nearby town for bike parts come standard?

Country was quite beautiful, winding through small national parks.

IMGP0802.JPGFarmland seemed to dissolve into thick forest all day.

IMGP0803.JPGNifty little peak. I was just relieved that the road engineers had pity on me for once and didn't put the road directly over the top.

The greatest thing about starting back again was that the crash weight loss made a huge difference in hill climbing. No more was I stopping for breaks a third of the way up a hill to "get a drink". I actually averaged faster speeds overall. It felt blissful.

The only negative to this was the following:

IMGP0800.JPGUsually, buses gave me plenty of room. . .

IMGP0809.JPG. . . But these guys had me wondering if I would end my trip with a reverse Scania tramp stamp and some expensive medical bills. Stuff of bicyclist nightmares on bridges.

It must be said that most of the trucks were very good about giving plenty of room, but when there was a car, or, occasionally, another truck in the other lane. . .Whoa. It felt like an industrial-strength hair dryer on full-force, especially when they are at 60mph or more. And LOUD! When they are that close, the air compression actually sucks you toward the truck, so you learn to lean out a bit.

But I was able to turn off the main road after about 17 miles onto highway 12. It was much calmer, but a bit weirder.

IMGP0807.JPGThese legs do NOT go "all the way up". They are actually nailed to the fence for some reason.

I found later that there was a store with two legs sticking out of the roof, again just for "kicks". Ha.

There was also this interesting sign along a flat farming stretch of highway:

IMGP0806.JPGThank goodness for America teaching me to always do what advertisers say, or I would have probably have been dehydrated by the end of this ride.

Stopped at a small town, lured by promises of pastry and coffee.


Finished out the final 7 miles to the campground. Immediately noticed that it was very well-kept, and paid the NZ $17 without question. They have wireless internet here. Let me repeat that for all my Alaskan friends: When you camp at this campground, you can surf the internet. Wirelessly. Not for free, though. NZ$6 per hour. Not bad, really.

Grabbed a quick shower and realized, looking in the mirror, that I am a kaleidoscope of interesting shades.

IMGP0813.JPGHey, kids! Here's a fun game! It's Guess the UV Value. Which is the best way to repel sunlight between a shirt, cycling gloves, watch, or a one-time application of sunscreen? Bonus points if you can match up where each one went!

After a freaking spectacular shower (the floor is TILE. At a CAMPGROUND. And CLEAN.) I headed for the Kauri Museum. The Kauri is a very tall, slow growing tree here in New Zealand. It's a very spectacular wood. Why see a museum devoted to it? Good question. However, having seen it, I can clearly rate it as the #2 museum I have ever been to. No lie. The New Zealanders are quite proud of their logging heritage, and the place is massive, with original steam engines and old diesel engines used to turn saws and all the other equipment they had. Several of them were massive and actually WORKING. All restored to their 1800s-1900s glory. Plus a full-size house within the museum restored to look like a real old hotel, with rooms devoted to specific people from over 100 years ago (including the dentist). The mannequins were very realistic, down to occasional nicks on their knuckles, and were modeled after people in the community who actually did this work or who were decendents of the people who actually did that work. Amazing.

IMGP0818.JPGThis is from the railing on the boarding house. The machinery is actually working down here.

IMGP0819.JPGThis old-time chainsaw is over 10 feet long. Anyone who can use this at the Lumberjack Competition just wins for picking the thing up.

My energy finally ran out around 4:30PM, so back to the tent for some reading of Miles from Nowhere and rest. Will try out the wireless internet to post this and catch up on e-mail - I have 60 minutes of time.

Tomorrow, goal is Dargaville, just 27 miles. Will try to make it to the real Kauri forests the next day. Expecting pretty significant rain on Saturday (it is Wednesday now) so maybe a day of rest among the giants.

Nice to be back in the tent, actually. I love my Exped mattress. Just so you know, I am typing and will be sending this out wirelessly from my tent. Spoiled? Just a bit.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

12/16/2008 - Rest day, or setback?

Quick note before I start: I am currently in Wellsford, not Wellsville. I have been using these interchangeably over my last post.

Luckily, this morning dawned without the sweet squeak of rats or other vermin. I am still unable to sleep in in any meaningful way, so up at 7AM, walked down to breakfast at Jack's Cafe just a block and a half away for coffee and massive breakfast. My new favorite thing is eggs on toast - delicious. Alas, no picture of this - will have to get this again in the future and photograph the deliciousness. Breakfast was rounded out with hash browns, sausages (big ol' thick ones), something in between bacon and ham, and (for some reason) two quarters of a big tomato, cooked on the grill. Finished with gusto as I read the paper.

Did you know that Sarah Palin's church got burned down? Weird that news from Wasilla can follow me so far.

Checking my watch, found it was time for the post office to open. After assuring that they could take care of it, I carry my backpack full of my wetsuit, wetsuit booties, and dive knife to the NZ Post. It is now shipped down to Masterton with the rest, freeing me of 9 kg of ballast. Again, I can hear Mom and Dad both telling me "I told you so", conscience-style from each shoulder. In stereo. They both questioned some of my packing decisions prior to this trip.

I have decided that today is a rest day. Allow the legs to catch up, relax, maybe watch a movie. On the computer, as there is no movie theater here, but no big. To do this, I am going to take it a step up and cruise over to the Sun Valley Motel, which I am told has wireless internet. They are the kind folks who referred me to the Wellsford Inn as I was too much of a cheapskate to stay there last night. I think that the Wellsford Inn Experience is just too much joy for two nights.

I am greeted this morning by Rob at the front desk. He doesn't have a room free quite yet, but is very kind to give me the bigger room for the lesser price, NZ $85 ($50 US). It has all the amenities. I can come back at 10:00 to claim it.


The day is going swimmingly. The only warning of any negative to some was the sound of rubber squeaking as I rolled my bike out. It wasn't until I had it all the way outside that I realized that my rear tire was completely flat. Gah. After a full disassembly of the wheel and tire, naturally it was the valve stem, where no patch will cover it. I try anyway, with predictable results. No problem, I have the backup tube. Installed and pumped up (after 10 minutes of small pump straining), it lasted exactly 60 seconds before giving a dejected decrescendo whine and going flat, as well.

Valve stem again. Non-repairable. My last tube.

IMGP0793.JPGHappiness and joy exude from all orifices at this point.

As it turns out, Wellsford may not be the capital of extreme sports. No bicycle tubes to be had at all in the town. Another shot in the gut. I have no easy way to get to a larger town at this point.

I stop by a tire store, but just get a "no, we don't carry those, mate." I thank the man (Ellen) and head toward the motel. Maybe I can call someone or take a bus. . .

It's at that moment that Ellen rushes out to find me. "There's a bike store in Warkworth," he says. "I can run you by there." He has absolutely no reason to take me anywhere, yet, here again, New Zealander kindness comes through for me. I'm a little flabbergasted as I agree to drop my bike by the motel and return.

As I walk up to the motel, Helen and Rob (the hosts) are outside and find me. "I saw you carrying your bike, and figured it was a flat," Helen says. "Do you need a ride to Warkworth? I'm heading there to run errands anyway, and there's a bike shop."

Wow. No way. She is serious, though, and I take her up on it. I return to thank Ellen for his offer, get all my stuff moved over, and end up riding the 20km to Warksworth with Helen and her teenage son, David (a very nice guy, going to a friend's house to fix his computer). The two guys at the bike shop are full of belly laughs, made more appropriate by them both wearing full Santa hats. One of them teaches me the fine art of not screwing up a tire change while the other makes jokes (at least partially at my expense, given the two identical flats in one day). Meet back up with Helen, and we drop off David, run by the store (her last errand), and run by the beach for a bit of a walk as it was a beautiful day and she did not have any pressing duties.

IMGP0795.JPGWelcome to my work day.

Helen is a former nurse midwife, and we chat amiably about health care in New Zealand. She has a favorable view overall of it for the same reasons I do - gets basic healthcare to everyone, and if you want more than that, you can pay for insurance.

Return trip is pleasant, and I retune the bike when I get back. It is now spotting rain (believe it or not after the above picture) and I work on figuring out where I am going to spend the night tomorrow.

IMGP0797.JPGMy patient looking good as new and ready to be discharged.

Showered, shaved, packed, and having done some laundry in the shower (everything I own now smells like Irish Spring), my outlook on life is dramatically better. Plan on 34 miles tomorrow, then camping. Hoping to get an early start as I will be heading up Highway 1, mecca for giant logging trucks that apparently get inversely-proportional bonuses based on how close they come to bikers on bridges. Rah, rah.

Just for Mom and Dad, want you to know that I did indeed buy a gift of a bottle of wine (as Helen and Rob would not allow me to take them to dinner or pay them) which will be left with the room key.

IMGP0796.JPGThe view from my room in the evening. Can't see the view due to the beautiful garden in the way.

Good night!

12/12/2008 - Left. Left. Left. Left.

This is simply a continuation on the last post. At the end of that post, I was here:

IMGP0758.JPGAuckland Airport in the background. It is spitting rain.

The title of this post refers to the mantra I kept repeating in my head as I started down the road. Forgetting this would be a monumental and likely fatal mistake

Managed to bike the 5 or so miles to the campground on the anti-proper side of the road. Nice place - Ambury Campground. It is actually a working farm, and schoolkids apparently come out on weekdays to see cows being milked and whatnot.

Did I mention the manure?

The actual camp "site" is a large pasture with an electric fence around it. As a working farm, it has sheep, dogs, turkeys, and cattle. One flock of sheep is actually within this pasture/campsite apparently on some sort of work/study program to see how humans live. As I type this, there are "baaa"s and snorts around the tent. Just now, one of them quite audibly passed gas. It's living in the dorms all over again.

IMGP0760.JPGAmbury Farm campground. Smell the excitement!

Actually, once I clear out some of the manure, it's very idyllic. It also has a shower, which is FANTASTIC. OK, concrete floors and it's right next to a toilet, but the water is hot and I am able to wash my socks in addition to myself. Shave, too. I am almost presentable again. Clif bars are on the menu - delicious. It is only 7:30 at night right now, but I am going to sleep. My body has no idea what time it is and I did not sleep well on the plane. Tomorrow, will sort gear and plan on making it 28 miles if possible.

IMGP0761.JPGMy first campsite. I don't dare lock the bike to the fence as it is electrified.

Time to sleep.

Monday, December 15, 2008

12/15/2008 - Grading on a Curve

Again, my early morning alarm clock was fauna-based. Songbirds today. Seriously, I think alarm clock makers actually charge for these wake up sounds.

The plan today is to head north from Helensville to Wellsford, a 38 mile journey. This follows the coast. I try not to think of how hilly the coast actually is, and consider instead that this road runs through farmland. Can't have steep farmland, right?

Not so much.

IMGP0786.JPGGet it? Grading on a curve? Oh - didn't mention that these roads were very curvy, too.

The road wound its way through (actually directly over) the steep terrain. When I could look around past my burning legs, the area was absolutely gorgeous.

IMGP0784.JPGOcean in the background. This is someone's driveway. Cattle pastures went all the way to the ocean.

Started to run out of gas at the 25 mile mark, but with some well-calculated rests, was able to make it through without incident. Noticing, however, that there is a definite shimmy in the bike when I hit higher speeds. Not sure if it is the load directly over the back wheel or the trailer.

IMGP0788.JPGYet another high point, felt like my 50th of the day, but was definitely a nice view while I was panting for breath.

About 10 miles shy of Wellsville, I pass the first bike tourist that I have seen the entire trip. He flags me down to talk. Steve is a Brit here doing a figure-of-eight of both the north and south islands. He has spent the last 3 weeks going from Wellington to the northern coast of the north island and is starting back down. He is a middle-aged guy who is very animated and friendly. He passes on some information regarding the road to Cape Reinga. It is in the midst of construction, and the last 20km is dirt. He suggests a bus tour from one of the towns - they apparently take you up there, allow you to do some sand surfing, and feed you. That also eliminates a direct trip back the same treacherous road (as there is one road heading up there).

Duly noted.

IMGP0787.JPGAt this point, Steve had already done 70km. He plans on advising anyone interested NOT to bike New Zealand due to the hills.

Big bravo to Steve - love seeing middle aged people get out and beat the hell out of me on a bike.

Rolled into Wellsville after about 6 hours of fighting the steep and the fierce headwind. There are no campgrounds in this entire area, so I settle on hotel. There are two. The first charges NZ $90 per night. When I mention my plan to be money savvy (read: cheap), she directs me to the Wellsville Inn.

I pull into the parking lot - looks reasonable. Stepping into the bar gave me a first look at threadbare carpet and worn walls. The person at the bar takes me down a narrow hallway to show me a single room. I think that it is called a "single room" because anyone living in a place like this would be single for the rest of their lives. Communal bathroom and shower, but you do get your own sink in the room. Moldy area where the mirror used to be. Early '70s ripped wallpaper. Bed feels more like a hammock. Desk with no actual chair. Two bare lightbulbs, though they did attempt to rectify that look with plastic bases on the bulbs that have pretend wax droplets. Classy.

But, for NZ $30, it's a roof and a place to keep my bike. The innkeeper's last words to me were to put my bike in my room because it would likely get stolen otherwise.

IMGP0792.JPGHome sweet mold.

I do not plan on using the sheets, top of the bed looks juust fine to me.

After a short nap, I head out to grab some food. Downtown is a little rundown, but plenty of places to eat cheaply. As is my custom, I have to try the McDonald's in every country I visit, and Wellsford was happy to oblige.

IMGP0789.JPG"The Boss" - a double quarter pounder with cheese minus the cheese. Fries taste more potato-ey than I am used to, which is nice. And yes, that is a newspaper I am reading in an attempt to look edumacated.

Note to all further travelers to New Zealand: No free refills, you pay for a full second cup.

Once back to the Hotel Mustyville, I repacked my entire trailer and picked several things that will be sent tomorrow down to Kylie, my friend in Masterton. Please, Mom and Dad, let the "I told you so"'s be gentle. I would say that this is just to fix the shimmy, but I really do want to drop some weight after today.

Off to bed, NZ post in the AM, will try to figure out whether I spend another night recovering my aching thighs or try to head north. Still having trouble finding wireless internet.

Hope I am not woken tomorrow by animals, because judging by this room, those animals would be rats.