2,057km down: 4,168km to go.
My legs were quite weary today and never really got going well. The morning was much cooler than the day before – only 26 degrees. Once again we set off early to get some riding in before it got too hot. Daphne is still not well so I was riding with Shirley. Lucky for her I was with her as the turn at about 60k was not in our daily notes and Shirley would have totally missed it. I saw the flags, phew. Scott – who is always first – went past it head-down thinking “20k before the next turn” and added 42k to his day. I would have been looking for a taxi!
Although my legs were weary the morning was not too taxing. This resulted in David and Walli deciding to do the whole stretch – they are usually regulars in the truck back to camp after lunch. What no one had told us was the were some significant hills after lunch. Not as bad as Makara but equivalent to the hill up to Johnsonville or the Ngaio Gorge! Shirley is much better at hills than me, although I can go faster than her on the flat. What this means unfortunately is I wait for her on the flats and she drops me on the hills. Anyway, I did not see her again until 20k out from camp!
Half way up a very long hill it levelled out, and I spied a sheltered bus shelter so I went in and had a wee rest on the bench, then headed out there and at it again. At the top of what turned out to be the final significant hill of the day there was a turn to the right which I went past without having a good look at. There was then a great downhill for about 3k. I was halfway down the hill before I thought “Shit! I hope I was not meant to turn back there!”. I kept going, having decided that if I had gone the wrong way there was no way I was going to go back up the hill, I would get to the town, have a beer and find out if there was a taxi service. Failing that I would ring the tour guys and beg. Thankfully coming into town I saw the orange flag at a turn, yay. After that it was 10k mostly downhill to camp.
Once again I managed to get a room shared with Walli, so no camping this stretch. The bugs only get the time I am outside for the riders meeting and during meals to get me. Mind you I guess it is payback as I ride with my mouth open and a few bugs have been harmed on this trip (probably one of my main sources of protein!).
Anyway after dinner I decided I should walk up the road and see the castles, but I only looked at Royal Castle Bobolice not Mirror Castle a couple of kilometres away. Royal Castle Bobolice was in a state of disrepair but has been renovated. The outstanding aspect is it is built on a huge rock. There was an underground tunnnel linking it Mirror Castle but this is shut and Mirror Castle is in a state of disrepair.