Posts Tagged With: Laundry

Day 25: Rest day in Cologne (27 June)

We had breakfast at the hotel, then the next step was the ongoing need to get laundry done.

When we got into the lift after breakfast, Gergo (the tour leader) jumped in and started having a chat to us about going the wrong way yesterday morning. Ezster (his wife) who was the sweep had caught up to us, and she must have mentioned it to him. Gergo spoke to us like we were about 12 years old so I walked off while he was talking.

Next thing we get an email from him, copied to Miles in the head office in TDA, telling us again why we were wrong and telling us how to navigate! Very frustrating as it’s the first time Gergo has spoken to me since the day I arrived, and it’s to tell me off! And he was totally oblivious that actually the flagging was wrong, and at least half the riders had made the same two wrong turns as us. After awhile I decided to just ignore it.  As in the words of Henry Gold, founder/owner of TDA, “getting lost is half the fun”.

After doing the laundry we had a couple of pizza pieces for lunch. Brett was not feeling very well, upset stomach, so he had a nap and I caught up on a couple of days with the blog.

Later the afternoon we went for walk and were amused to see a statue in square with her arm and hand open, holding a bottle of beer.

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Statue in the Old Market

Then we went to see the Cologne Cathedral which is Roman Catholic and is the seat of the Archbishop of Cologne. The height of the building is 157.4 meters, which makes it the 4th highest church building in the world. It covers 8,000 square meters and can hold over 20,000 people. The two massive towers were completed in 1880c.

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Cologne Cathedral

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Cologne Cathedral

The cornerstone of the present day Gothic cathedral was laid at the Feast of Assumption of Mary, 15 August 1248. The previous building was deemed not impressive enough to hold the bones of the three wise men (Magi) and were brought to Cologne in 1164 by Archbishop Rainald of Dassel from Milan, after the latter city was conquered in 1164. In 1,200 these remains were placed in a golden Shrine. Because of these remains, the Cathedral is one of the most important places of pilgrimage in Europe.

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Cologne Cathedral

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Cologne Cathedral

Outside the cathedral there were a number of beggars, I gave one a few euros and every time she saw me in the square after that she blew me a kiss. There was a man busking with an amazing voice singing opera, that we listened to for awhile also.

There were a number of cruise ships at the docks including the Ms Emily Bronte (from yesterday) and the Viking Vidar. The Viking Vidar goes from Budapest to Amsterdam.

We had dinner at a Lebanese restaurant called Beirut, with John W. We got a set menu and we could not believe it – we got about 20 starters (hummus, meatballs, rice, salad, chicken etc)  but thankfully only a platter of main, and a small honey pastry dessert.

Afterwards we decided to go to the hotel bar. Um 3 drinks later, I may regret this in the morning.

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Riverside

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Day 21: Rest day in Heidelberg (23 June)

I enjoyed lying in, feeling a bit tender after yesterday’s ride, so am very pleased to have a rest day to recover.

At breakfast we were told that Graham is ok, but has a broken bone in his face and will most likely not be able to continue riding. Graham is going to be discharged from hospital later today. Caught up with Yvonne, and she is feeling much better.

After breakfast we looked at getting the hotel to do the laundry, but it really is only an option for people who just want a couple of items done. I worked out to get mine done it would have cost €70! So off we walked to the laundromat. To do both of ours at the laundromat it cost us €18 combined. I always take my iPad and do a bit of of catching up with the blog.

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Rest Day chores

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Laundry price list from the hotel

This morning before breakfast, I had a messenger call with my 11 month grandson Jasper, and daughter Tracey. Jasper was very excited to see me, and kept trying to get into the iPad where I was. The day after I get home is Jasper’s first birthday celebration.

Walking through the city I noticed the number of apartments that have trees and shrubs on their balcony.

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Shrubs on apartment balconies

I have also noticed the increased rate of smoking, the cigarettes on display, cigarette advertising, and also there are a number of cigarette machines on the street in the villages and cities. I was a bit surprised as was thinking children could use these, but apparently you have to put ID with proof of age in before you can purchase.

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Street cigarette machine

After doing the laundry we had a drink at an outside cafe with John W, and then decided what do to for lunch. John wanted pasta, and Brett and and I decided on a picnic. We had a lovely lunch with a baguette roll, blue cheese, brie, small cake of dark chocolate, and a Bordeaux wine (we actually wanted a rosé, but there was no chilled wine to be had, so settled on the red). It was very relaxing to just sit and do nothing for awhile. Then back onto catching up with emails and the blog.

At 6 pm we went down to the hotel bar for a beer, while we waited for a couple of Brett’s friends from a previous tour, who we were going out for a meal with. As we were having a beer, Graham turned up looking bruised and battered. Graham has no memory of what happened, but there was no car involved. Graham suspects he hit the curb the wrong way.

He remembers coming to and having two locals helping him up. They asked him if he knew where he was and he said no. They then said “You’re in Germany, doing a bike ride from Athens to Amsterdam” (They got this off his riders plate on his bike), and he said “Don’t be stupid, why would I be doing something like that?”.

Graham is not sure what he will do as he has broken a cheek bone around the sinus, and is not allowed back on a bike for a couple of weeks. While a group of us were talking to Graham, Janice came in and I took a photo of him and her “The concussion twins”.

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Graham and Janice – the concussion twins

Also in the bar were Tim and Judy, also from Wellington NZ.

Just then Brett’s friends arrived. They met on the Aussie section of 2014 Trans-Oceania. Lydia is originally from Townsville, Queensland but is now living with Joachim in Germany. Joachim is German. Lydia is working as a Librarian and Joachim works in IT. They are both keen marathon runners and triathletes. John W also did this ride, and came for dinner. We went to a really nice Thai place, I didn’t get the name. I had tom yum soup – it was nice and spicy, and green curry which was very nice.

Then back to the hotel to pack and get ready for another 3 day stretch.

Introducing

Janice is from Townsville Queensland and this is her first TDA ride. She is retired, she worked as a student advisor counsellor at the University. Janice’s partner was going to come on the ride, but couldn’t get a health clearance to do it, so is doing the pilgrims work in Spain instead.

Tim and Judy are from Wellington NZ, they have 3 children and a labradoodle and a poodle. This is their second TDA ride. Tim is an actuary and Judy is a mother. They are heading off to Cuba for another two week ride after this trip.

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Tim and Judy

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Day 17: Rest day in Munich (19 June)

During the night I got lost in the bathroom! I went in and closed the door, and the light was on the outside! As I was half asleep I was disorientated, and it took a few moments to realise that if I could feel the toilet, then the door must be right in front of me.

The room, whilst it had no air con, it did have good black curtains, so I didn’t wake up till about 7am.

I went and had breakfast and spoke to a few of the riders who were leaving, and then caught up on some emails, the news, and the blog. As we had only be riding two days and the next segment is only 3 days, we decided not to do any laundry as we have enough clothes to last.

Then I headed off with Brett (we were joined later by Graham) to the Hofbräuhaus House, for a steins and sausages. The litre stein is so big it took two hands to pick it up and drink.

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Hofbräuhaus Brewery

There was a walking tour, that most of the TDA riders seemed to be on, filing past us making comments about NZers and Aussies and beer. The hall was huge – it seats 3,500 people! There was a traditional band playing, luckily only in short intervals as they were very loud.

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Hofbräuhaus Brewery

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Outside Hofbräuhaus Brewery

Then it was time to go back to the hotel and have a nap to wear off the effects of the beer. I am finding it really hard to remember to watch out for the bike paths that are half of most of the pavements. The bikers ride really fast, and you could be seriously hurt if you were knocked into by one.

On the way back we stopped near the hotel at a handmade ice cream shop called “True and 12” and tried the ice cream. It was ok but I didn’t think it was as good as the ice cream you can get in NZ. This was the only time we came past when there wasn’t a long queue. Last night when we were riding into Munich, there were about 35 people queued along the street.

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Pots and Pans Reindeer (Editor’s note: This is all the information I have about this picture)

For dinner, we went to an Afghanistan restaurant called “Chopan – am Gasteig” which was close by. The dish I had was “Qabili Palau” which is the national dish, it was fantastic, very nicely spiced.

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At Chopan – am Gasteig

We had a bottle of Rose with it that was very drinkable, plus two bottles of sparkling water.

Then back to the hotel to get ready for another hot night, even with the window open, and another’s day riding tomorrow.

Introducing 3 TDA staff:

Caitlin from Canada is the bike mechanic for the trip, plus rides sweep or does flags
Balaz is from Hungary, his background is IT and economics. He is usually on the lunch truck but sometimes is sweep
Ozgur from Turkey, his background is an engineer, who does the either flags or sweeps, and occasionally does the lunch truck.

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From left: Caitlin, Balaz, Ozgur

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At Hofbräuhaus Brewery

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Day 9: Rest day in Trieste (11 June)

It was very nice not to have to be up at 6am with breakfast at 7am, and then out on the road. Instead I made it to the dining room at a leisurely 9am. English breakfast tea in a tea pot! Bliss.

After breakfast we set off to the laundromat or Lavanderia (as they call in in Italy), we caught up with Janice and Gregg, and Yvonne and Scott there.

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Janice and Gregg (left) and Yvonne and Scott (right)

There was also a good looking Italian woman who was very frustrated as the second dryer was not working, as someone had put the wrong coins in. Of course all the men set about trying to sort it for her. Brett went back to the hotel and got the tweezers out of his bike tool kit, and came back and removed the two coins. She was very grateful and told Brett he was just like MacGyver.

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MacGyver saving the day 

After the laundromat I went back to the room to catch up with the blog.

Then off for lunch, we decided to go back to Eataly for the 2nd course we hadn’t tried on the blackboard menu.

We had white wine: Movia Sauvignon Blanc, and we shared two different courses – Filetto di orata gratinato ai pistachio gamberi e zucchini (a very nice fillet of fish with a nice coating and cheese)  and Frito misto croccante (fried squid and prawn rings).

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Lunch at Eataly, day 2

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Wine in a bucket with slushy ice pellets

We then wandered around for awhile, then had an afternoon siesta.

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Super yachts on waterfront berths

Later on the way to dinner, we could not help noticing the number of motor bikes and scooters parked at each curb.

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For dinner we had a wine – Bastianich Vespa Rosso, and Brett had fillet of beef which was was very nice, I had slow roasted pork which was tough because it was overdone.

Then back to the hotel to get organised for tomorrow.  We have 120 km to ride, but only 650 meters climbing.

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Goodnight Trieste, riding again tomorrow

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Day 8 – Malinska,Croatia to Trieste, Italy

119 km – 1,430 climbing and 1452 down

I woke up feeling a bit jaded after the last long day yesterday, plus the 3 days of riding already this section. I am really looking forward to a rest day tomorrow, especially as we will be in Italy.

For breakfast I had black tea and toast. Well sort of toast, really warm bread, as even after being put through the toaster three times it still was not what I would have called toasted, but by that time there were people waiting … so I didn’t feel I could put it though again.

To start off the day of course a climb, and then some a reasonable downhill followed by a big uphill, but with a reasonable gradient. At about 30 km, after 10 km climbing, we came to a turn where to the left was to go down and to the right we would have kept going up. We went left to go down through the city of Rijeka.

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Port of Bakar

After going through Rijeka at 38 km, to lunch at 71 km, it was all up. Mostly a reasonable gradient, but it was steep from 66 km. At 50 km I realised that I had lost one of my water bottles and I only had half a bottle of water left! I was hoping there would be another shop, as half a bottle of water wasn’t going to last the 20 km to lunch.

At 55 km there was a pub so we called in there and bought water. Two other riders were there, Greg and Maureen. Greg’s wife Janice is on the trip as well but they don’t ride together as she is faster than him, so he rides with another rider Maureen. I told them about my water bottle and Gregg asked was it a blue camel back bottle, which it was. Turned out it had come off my bike on a bit of bumpy road and a passing motorist had picked it up, and recognised that Gregg had the same trip placard on his bike and given it to him. Thank you kind Croatian motorist 😀 I was so relieved to have my second water bottle back, and the nice man at the pub filled them both up for me.

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Time for a beer in Slovenia 🇸🇮 before entering Italy. (Kaye just had sparkling water)

Then back out in the heat to ride onwards and upwards. This seemed endless. At 67 km and 69 km I had to get off my bike, I was done! Gregg said that the climb finished at 80 km, I was not sure I had another 10 km of climbing in me!

At 71km I got to the lunch truck. Thankfully the Slovenian border did not require all the cyclists to go across in a group, otherwise I would have had some very annoyed fellow cyclists waiting for me, as I was the second to last to lunch. Brett came in after me as he had stopped just around the corner at the money changer. Caitlin (TDA) and the other 4 riders at lunch didn’t believe me when they asked where Brett was and I replied “I dropped him on the hills, as he couldn’t keep up with me”.

After lunch we crossed the Slovenian  🇸🇮 border. We were in Slovenia for 30 km, then headed into Italy.

After the border crossing there was quite a steep upwards gradient. At 75 km I was thinking “I am not going to be able to cycle another 5 km uphill” – at least 3 of the other riders had gone in the truck. At 76 km I was close to tears, riding at an average speed of 6.5 km an hour, which would be almost another hour of this. I gritted my teeth and carried on, one pedal stroke at a time.

Then at 76.5 km there was a down hill, I was thinking “hopefully it will last at least a km
– well it was pretty much downhill the rest of the day to Trieste 👍👍👍

There was uphill, but generally you had a good speed and could get up most of the hill for free, and nothing involved granny gear (the smallest gear) for more than 2-3 minutes at a time.

At 103.5km we crossed the border into Italy 😀  🇮🇹

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At the Italian border – 3 countries in one day on our bikes.

Grego (TDA tour leader) had recommended that we turn at 112.1 km and do a 10 km detour to see the Lipica horse Museum. The Lipica horses are white when they are adults, but when they are born until they are two they are black. Given that we were already estimating 5pm to get to the hotel we decided not to make the 10 km detour, however if we had known that from 112.1 km it was a continuous downhill we would have made the detour.

We arrived tired and hot at 5pm as predicted, at the Urban Hotel. Thankfully it was Saturday so we did not have to contend with rush hour traffic coming into Trieste.

The room is comfortable, but no view unless you count a concrete wall, but I am just happy to be here.

After a shower the first task, as always, is checking out the laundry situation. There is a laundromat, or Lavanderia as called in Italy, around the corner but they don’t do it for you. We checked they are open on Sunday, so will leave it until tomorrow.

We went for a walk, first of all we went to Italy’s largest sea facing Plaza called a Piazza del Unita d’Italia, where they were having an outdoor concert. We decided to have a cold beer at a bar on the corner of the plaza. It wasn’t until we were sitting down that we noticed the bar was blocking the lovely concert with its own music. We stayed there and had the beer, which came in a huge glass, as there wasn’t anywhere else to sit in the square. As it was very hot afterwards we went for a walk along the sea front. So many boats/yachts, and 2 super boats worth a few million each.

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Reward for a hard earned thirst 🍺

We went into a place called “Eataly” which is like the Mediterranean Food Warehouse in Newtown but 6 times the size.

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At Eataly

So far the whole trip I have seen no stray dogs, and only a few dogs with their owners in the places we have passed through, but in Italy there are dogs everywhere. Still no stray dogs but every second person here appears to have a dog of some shape or size. They are allowed in the food court and restaurants, everywhere you look they are snoozing under tables. or as in the Eataly walking with their owners, nose on full twitch.

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A dog inside Eataly (Editor’s note: A greyhound!!! Woohoo! Look at its little white socks)

They seem welcome everywhere, apart from one restaurant where there was a sign “no dogs”! Guess what the outcome was? Unlike every other place that was full, there were only two diners in this restaurant!

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No dogs = no diners! 

We decided to have dinner there, it was pretty good. Wine was a white Bastianich Friulano. This came in a wine bucket with slushy ice pellets which is much better at keeping the wine chilled than ice cubes.

To eat we had Orecchiette con pesto and gambeni, and Tagliolini con scampi alla.

After the big glass of beer I needed to use the restroom. I locked the door and then it wouldn’t open again. I tried it every setting numerous. times but it wouldn’t open! Unbelievable! So then I resorted to kicking the door and shouting help! Someone must have heard me as an attendant came and unlocked the door and let me out. She asked me if I had tried unlocking the door. There were many responses to this, and I chose putting up my hand and walking past her to the sink, where I couldn’t make the water work. Luckily the tap in wheelchair toilet worked.

Then back to the hotel to bed, with the luxury of a sleep in and no riding tomorrow.

Introducing some of the TDA riders

Scott and wife Janice from Salt Spring Island, British Columbia. It is both their first TDA ride. President of big fishing company .
Janice and Scott now work with indigenous people restocking Salmon reserves. They have no pets and no children.

Yvonne and husband Scott from Alaska, this is their USA 3rd TDA ride
Yvonne is a retired epidemiologist and Scott is a retired Economist. They have 2 daughters and their eldest daughter has done 3 TDA rides.
Yvonne is Chinese and is struggling with the food on the trip as she does not eat bread, milk, cheese, cereal, or processed meat – which has been pretty much the food so far. So today in Trieste she will be able to eat food she likes.

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Waterfront outside Hotel Jadran, Sibernik

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Day 23: Wednesday 7 Dec – Fox Glacier to Haast

119km – 1,000 meters climbing and 1,150 down

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The last three days of riding!

The weather forecast for today was not good and it turned out to be correct. I woke up a few times during the night and could hear the rain pouring down.

In the morning it was on with all the wet and warm weather gear and off out into the weather. Yoav and Asia came in to say goodbye and wish us the best for today’s ride, they were sensibly going to have another rest day.

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Wet and rainy morning (Photo credit: Sue’s blog)

The first 90 km was mostly flat with some rolling hills. At 25 km I had to wait at a one way bridge whilst work was being down, thankfully the workers took pity on us and let us across quickly. The rest of the day the traffic came in bursts, as it was all stopped at the bridge. There were no trucks and only one bus, and mostly camper vans and camper wagons.

At 62 km I stopped for coffee at a salmon farm, but did not look at the salmon as I was worried about getting cold. When we left the salmon farm the rain was very heavy. All the way to lunch at 77 km my coffee kept repeating on me which was not pleasant. I did not eat much at lunch as I was feeling a bit nauseous. Emily had boiled water and was making tea and coffee and also vegemite soup (I did not try it, I just had tea) which was greatly appreciated.

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Rainy and wet lunch stop (Photo credit: Michele’s Facebook page)

There was a self supported rider – Ida – coming the other direction, so we waved her over to have something to eat and a warm drink. Ida said she had started cycling from Bluff 7 days earlier, she rode for 8 hours every day, and then camped at the side of the road if there was no campsite. Not sure that I would be brave enough to do that.

The one good thing about the rain is that it kept the bugs at bay, although there were a few sand flies hovering under the awning at lunch.

At Bruce Bay there are a stack of rocks and small boulders that passing tourists have written their name on, and now it has become an attraction. All different nationalities.

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The stones at Bruce Bay

Brett rode down here with a group at the beginning of 2015 and said it was a very nice ride, but with the rain and mist it was hard to see much of anything today.

At 92 km we had a hill climb for 6 km, the tail wind assisted us, then a big downhill then rolling hills, and flat the rest of the way to camp. At about 100 km I could hear my bike making a click click sound, but couldn’t see anything when I got off my bike to have a look. So I kept going, hoping it would get me to camp.

There were a number of signs along the way “Coffee in 8 km at Bruce Bay”, “Coffee in 2 km at Bruce Bay”, but once we got to Bruce Bay nothing was open – or even looked like coffee stop! Then as I got closer to camp the signs said “Whitebait fritters 3 km”, “Whitebait fritters 500 m”, “Whitebait fritters by the bridge” then “Whitebait fritters closed”. I would have stopped if they had been open.

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Outside the Haast Information Centre

Tonight we stayed at the Haast Top 10, I was really pleased I had a cabin and also it had a heater, shower and toilet, and jug. I was totally soaked so it was very good to get out of my wet clothes. The cabin was quickly turned into a Chinese laundry with wet weather gear drying on every available surface. I was still cold so crawled into bed to warm up and napped and read until dinner time.

I had a book emergency – I only had a few pages left and my next book was in my permanent bag which I wouldn’t get again until Friday. Luckily there was a book swap in reception. Not great pickings, three books about werewolves, two books written in German, a number of love stories,  and a Jeffrey Archer book called “Mightier than the Sword” which seemed to be the best choice. I had just finished a book by Minette Walters called The shape of snakes which was better expected.

Micah looked at my bike for me. He straightened the derailleur and fixed a cable, and said it should get to Queenstown (approx 220 km) but after that I will need to take into to get the freewheel looked at. Hopefully it doesn’t just go like it did in Peru, if it does the bike is not ride-able.

Luckily there was a covered area where dinner could be cooked and eaten. Dinner was macaroni cheese with bacon with a crunchy top, and a walnut and apple and cucumber salad. The weather forecast predicts a fine day tomorrow so fingers crossed.  Tomorrow we have have 1,700 meters climbing including a steep climb through what is known as the Gates of Haast.

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Ship Creek

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Day 22: Tuesday 6 Dec – rest day in Fox Glacier

There are 25 riders and 5 staff members on this trip – and only one washing machine at camp, and no laundromat in town. The machine was fully in use last night and the sign said don’t use after 8 pm. Michele and I were up at 7am to get ahead of the rush to the washing machine and dryer. Getting the laundry done is a main focus of rest days.

I was surprised that with the amount of camper vans etc that no one had popped a small laundromat into the town, especially as the lady at the town general store said it had been great having two fine days as they had had 27 wet days in row before that.

The weather forecast for the next three days is rain with the worst for later today and tomorrow. I was hoping to be able to book accommodation tomorrow night so planned to be straight onto it when the board with the information came out.

After putting the washing on, I sat around drinking copious cups of tea waiting for the washing to wash and dry. Yoav and Asia came in to have tea and coffee and toast as well.

At about 9am we (Brett, Tony, Michele, Yoav, Asia, Justina and I) rode to Lake Matheson, 6 km down the road to find the 4.4 km walk around it. When it is a really calm day the lake reflects the mountain and it can be spectacular on a day with a calm and bright blue sky. Today most of the mountains were covered by cloud but it was still a good walk through the bush.

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Lake Matheson

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Lake Matheson

There were lots of notices about the different trees and what the Maori had used them for. I always think about my Dad when I am walking through the bush, and remember the walks he would take us on as children.

We had lunch at the cafe, I had some really nice pork and fennel sausages, then had a look around the gift shop.

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Lake Matheson

Then it was back to the motel and the next three days riding was up on the board, along with the details of where we were staying tomorrow and the next night – another Top Ten Holiday Camp. Unfortunately when I rang up I found they were fully booked, drat! So I asked if I could go on the waiting list in case anyone cancels, which the lady laughed at but said sure and took my details just in case. Oh well I thought, one day in the rain and putting up a tent in rain is ok. Brett got on the phone and booked accommodation for the following night in Hawea so at least it won’t be two wet nights.

I went up to the shop to get a card as it is time to start writing thank you cards for the staff and sorting the gratuities (it’s not enforceable, but the expectation is that you give a gratuity to the staff. Most riders do, but there are some who say they have already paid for the trip, sadly often these are the people who could easily afford to). I got four really nice cards in Napier but had forgotten another TDA staff member was joining in Wellington, so needed another card.

Just after I got back from the shop my phone rang and it was the Haast Top Ten, unbelievable they had had a cancellation! Someone had booked for tomorrow but got their days mixed up and turned up today. Yay! Tomorrow when I am riding along getting soaking wet I won’t have to worry about putting up a tent at the end of it.

About 5 minutes after I got back from the shop it started to rain, the mountains disappeared. It wasn’t windy but the rain was steady and it got noticeably cooler.

Then it was time to relax, update the blog, and read a book until dinner time. I managed to update the blog but didn’t get around to reading. I went back to The Last Kitchen for dinner. I had seafood chowder and the ribeye steak with crumbed mushrooms, yum! Plus a shared bottle of La La Land Malbec again.

Then it was time for an early night, only 3 riding days to go.

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Yoav, Justina and Asia at Lake Matheson

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Day 19: Friday 2 Dec – rest day in Westport

It was really nice to not have to be up at 6am. I got up about 8am, made some tea and toast and marmalade, and back to bed. I got up again about 9am – first job the washing. Luckily when I went to the wash house there was a spare machine. Whilst I was waiting for it to wash I sorted out my bags. Then as it was such a great day and lots of pegs in the wash house, I hung it on the line.

Then I headed into town – a 5 minute walk – to get a few things: inter tube for bike, washing powder, and a new book, then lunch at the Port Side Bistro. I had a really nice pan fried turbot fish with salad.

On my way to the Port Side Bistro I walked past a lady selling Christmas raffles. As I walked past she called out “Kaye!” and it turned out it was a family friend Elizabeth Kydunski who I had not seen for years. Elizabeth and her daughter are living down here and later tonight she has the opening of her mosaic work at the Art Hotel. It was great to catch up and we promised to call in later tonight to the opening.

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In Westport looking up to the mountains (Photo and caption credit: Sue’s blog)

Then I went back to the motel with the mission to catch up with the blog. At 5.15pm I caught up with Brett, Michele and Tony for cheese and wine, and then we headed off back to the Denniston Dog again for dinner.

On the way to dinner we went to the Art Hotel in Westport to see Elizabeth’s exhibition . It was very interesting, some glass that Elizabeth had bought back from Japan after the tusamami all different colors, plus art driftwood and the main focus of her exhibition was a mosaic presentation of the 12 stages of the cross from Christ being arrested to rising again.

At dinner I had chicken liver pate and a Denniston dog pizza (chorizo, jalapeno and cheese) plus a glass of Gatekeepers Shiraz. Justina was riding past, she had been to Cape Foulwind to visit the seals so she joined us for dinner. It turns out she is currently working in Switzerland but is actually from Poland.

Back to the motel  to pack and get ready for the next three riding days.

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Next three days of riding (Photo credit: Sue’s blog)

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Day 9: Tuesday 22 Nov, Rest day in Napier

It was good to wake up not having to ride, but I was still awake at 6am. I made a cup of tea and spent a couple of hours catching up with the blog and emails.

Next off into town – a 5 minute walk – for breakfast and to do the laundry. Had breakfast at a very nice place called the Emporium Eatery part of the Masonic Hotel, the same place we had a beer last night.

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Napier CBD

There is a cruise ship in town, the Emerald Princess, so heaps of tourists. Beautiful weather, lovely blue skies, sunny, and no wind. We went for a walk along the marina then to the chemist for plasters.

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Naier CBD

We got back to the motel in time to be picked up at midday for a wine tour. 8 of us went on the tour Walli, Francine (first time I have met her but she has done other TDA rides, comes from Canada), Michele, Tony, Chris, Linda, and Brett, and the driver/owner was called Vince. The company was called Vince’s World of Wine Tours.

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Vince of Vince’s World of Wine

First off we went to Moana Park, then Trinity Hill, then to Te Awa where we were to have lunch as well as a wine tasting. Unfortunately Vince had not picked up that we would eat a lot and we cleared the food in a moment. Luckily we could order what ever we liked at our own cost, which we happily did.

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Happy about all the wine! At Moana Park

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Wine tasting! 

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Wine tasting at Trinity Hill (photo credit: Michele’s Facebook)

Then to Vidal’s Vineyard, then a drive around the port, and back to our motel.

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Vidal’s Vineyard

Next step was to pack away laundry and get my bag ready as we are off again tomorrow for another tour day of cycling. Tomorrow we are going to Porangahau which I have never heard of, but is on the coast about 50km from Waipukurau.

As we had a late lunch I was not that hungry at dinner. I went back to the Emporium Eatery and had a pizza and a beer with Michele, Tony, and Brett.

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Day 4 – Thursday 17 November

7I enjoyed waking up this morning with a day with not much to do apart from catch up with the blog, sort the washing, and rest.

I cooked eggs on toast for breakfast, then I had a number of cups of tea catching up with the blog and emails. We gave up on trying to do the laundry here: 1 machine and 23 riders plus other guests, so Brett googled the closest laundry and we arranged to pick it up at 4pm.

Walli, who I have ridden with before on the Trans Europa ride, has not been very well and has only ridden about 5km on her bike so far. Thankfully she has been to the Rotorua Medical Center and had chest X-rays, blood tests, and a full exam, and the diagnosis is bad hay fever. She has got some prevention medication and will hopefully be back on her bike soon.

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Walli on the arm of the chair, with Michele

In my blog about the day I arrived in Auckland I commented that I had bought Calci-trim milk. My daughter Kelly, aka blog editor, commented in an email that it was unusually specific of me not to have just said milk. I realised I had forgotten to add that the next morning I had a cup of tea and the tea tasted of banana, so I assumed it was some weird flavoured hotel tea bags, so I got one of mine, but then noticed the calci trim I bought in a dimly lit superette was actually a small bottle of banana milk! Yuk, down the sink it went.

On the left is what I meant to buy. On the right is what I bought.

On the left is what I meant to buy. On the right is what I bought.

About midday I started feeling hungry so I walked down the road to the fish and chip shop with Michele. The shop had a prominent sign saying “Best fish and chip shop in the region 2008/2009”. I was thinking how long should you keep a sign like that up for, after all it’s at least 7 years ago.

After lunch I had a nap, then walked down to get the laundry and some food to cook for dinner. I got nice fat thick steaks, with mushrooms, onions, asparagus and kumara mash with garlic butter. I would have had broccoli and carrots but the lid is stuck tightly on the pot and I can’t break the suction. I currently have the pot in the fridge hoping the cold breaks the suction.

Next it was packing as we are off again tomorrow. Tomorrow is not too bad, only 85 km to Taupo with 850 meters up and 670 down, but the next two days after that are a bit daunting. First is Taupo to Ohakune, 1950 meters climb and 1260 down and 145 km riding. Then the day after that we climb 2,300 meters up and ride 132k to a bush camp in the middle of nowhere in Kuripapango.

Hopefully we have good weather. A bush camp means no toilets or showers or shelter, and often no bush!

Next section Rotorua to Napier

Next section Rotorua to Napier

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