1,366km down: 4,859km to go.
We set off from the hotel in a convoy for 11.5k to get out of town. We got about 5k and Dan got a flat, we were then held up by road works, then Rodney got a flat. All in all the 11.5 k took about 2 hours!
I rode by myself for about 5k then caught up with John. It was a beautiful day, the sort of day I had imagined when thinking about this trip. When I caught up with John he said that his eye was sore but I didn’t have any drops and he declined Saline. After 15k he could hardly see so we pulled over. Daphne and Shirley came past and Shirley had drops (crikey the stuff she has in her bag – I expect to see the kitchen sink), unfortunately it did not help. We rang the truck and they said pick up would be an hour so John decided to keep riding slowly, although we tried to talk him out of it. I rode off with him but luckily the others had rung the lunch truck, which was only 20 k away. That arrived and picked him up just a kilometre after we had left, so luckily the other riders rang the lunch stop and insisted.
Later I missed a really well flagged turn and added 8k to my ride but luckily I figured it out and did not go any further. After lunch I rode by myself for about 20k then rode with Dan, Michele and Brian. We stopped for a drink stop at 105k and Jules caught up. We rode off in a convoy, and at 110k Jules and I missed the lights so we rode the rest of the way together.
From lunch onwards it was pretty much uphill for the rest of the day, mostly not too steep but certainly I was very happy to get to camp, even though I suspected the only downhill of the day – the 5 k into camp – would have to be ridden as uphill in the morning when we left.
Other than two others, we were the only campers at the campsite. It had a great lake, I went for a swim, most of the other campers did not, they said it was too cold. It was warmer than any New Zealand lake! I was toes up in bed by 8:30 pm.