The alarm rang again at 6am, which is frankly getting a bit frustrating. Aren’t we on a vacation after all? But at the end, we know that we need to leave as early as we can before the sun starts to tire us out.
So far we developed a routine. I get up first, go to the bathroom, do some miscellaneous things and then wake up Anya – who usually grumbles about having a bad night of sleep because of my snoring. Its strange – my snoring doesn’t bother me. Then we make breakfast (please no more kasha!), pack up our equipment, put on a ton of sunscreen (its amazing how much of it we are using and how well it actually works), get the bikes ready and usually leave the campsite within 2 hours of waking up.
Our first stop today was a little town called Murchison – around 35km away from our campsite. The road was relatively easy, so we got there within just 2 hours.
This town was a little bigger than the most – around 600 people. Then again, the largest one on the South Island only has about 10,000.
Near a supermarket, where I stocked up on powerbars, we saw another 2 cyclists. Strange how it makes me feel better when I see other people going through the same difficult experience. I guess misery really does love company 🙂
After finally accessing the internet for the first time in almost a week and having some lunch of cheese, sausage and peanut butter – our daily staple – we continued to head to the West Coast.
The road was bearable but the sun was draining a lot of our energy. We got to a small junction about 50km laters and then debated on the next road to take. One of them was a more scenic one, but the other was a bit less hilly. When it comes down on whether you want to go uphill at a rate of 5km per or move on a flat rode, the choice was clear.
We decided to keep going for another hour or two and then just find a place to camp on the side of the road. By this time, we were already dreaming about the shower that would be awaiting us in a few days once we were to reach the city of Greymouth.
As I was daydreaming about that… I caught a flat. Man, with barely any trees around to find shade under, no dinner yet and it being almost 7 (by which time we usually settle down for camping), this was definitely not good news.
The morale was low, but at least we knew exactly what to do from the experience we had a few days ago. This time around, it only took us another instead of two.
Ironically, while we were working, almost a dozen cars passed by and not one of them stopped. For some reason, I thought that people would be likely to stop to help, but I guess you really need to rely on yourself.
Once we got down at 8pm, we continued to move further. At that point, both of us were really tired and were moving practically on autopilot.
The land on both sides of the road was private and fenced out, so that limited our camping options. And then, out of nowhere, I saw a sign up for a small backpackers lodge on a side of the road.
I radioed Anya who was behind me with the happy news and once she caught up, we went in.
It turned out to be a couple of small cabins run by a toothless old man. This was perfect. Finally, a bed and the first shower in 4 days. What else does a man need to be happy? 🙂