The Strangest New Year Celebration I’ve Ever Had

31 12 2007

 The alarm rang at 5am today. After turning it of, I thought to myself – what the hell kind of a vacation is this? So after a brief talk with Anya, we decided to make it and easy day and went back to sleep.

I woke up again at 6.30 – in part because the sun came out, but also because the smell in the tent from 2 people biking the entire day without a shower was just becoming too unbearable.

After crawling out of the tent, we were immediately attached by a ton of sandflies. Those little bastards are even worse than mosquitos – tinier but meaner.

So the plan was to bike for 27km from Kowhai Point campsite (where we were) to a small town called St. Arnaud to visit a national park called Nelson Lakes. Now, bear in mind that the concept of a town in NZ is 40 or more people and a general store or a tavern – if that. Everytime, we see a town on a map and I get excited about the possibility of rest, I come to be quite dissapointed.

We got the distance covered within just 2 hours and then decided to relax by taking a nice 8-mile hike. While it was quite beautiful, we just found it ironic that we relax from biking by hiking up the mountain.


Once we got down, we planned to bike for a few kilometers to a nearby campsite to stay the night and celebrate New Year.

However, even though when we got on the road, it started raining, the wind was blowing in our backs and we decided that it was too good of a luck’s stroke to pass it up, so we decided to continue biking another 25km until the next potential campsite.

And am I glad that we did. With the wind in our backs and on a downward slope, we were averaging a speed of 35-40km per hour with my maximum being a 53km. It was one of the most exhilaring rides we experienced so far.

Once we got to the campsite, there were a few tents setup. We set up ours, made dinner, wished each other a happy new year and were asleep by 11. That’s the life of a touring cyclist.




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