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Progress so far!

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Trials and tribulations

Some days you can do over 200km and it be a walk in the park, other days after the first 30km you feel like throwing the towel in. But always, always keep going.

First things first, on our last blog we mentioned that Tee's stitches needed to be removed. Rather than wasting time, Tee convinced Kath that we could carry out our own DIY stitch removal! So, we managed to get hold of some scissors and with tweezers in hand, Kath cut the knot and we extracted the stitches :-0 Kath almost threw up a couple of times, but woo-hoo, we saved ourselves a couple of hours in a health centre and the job was done to perfection!

It's always a shivery start here in the South, until the sun comes out, which is great for a refreshing wake up call! The next thing we look forward to is a hot coffee somewhere en route after the first 20km or so. There are lots of gorgeous little tee shops with SOFA'S!!

Yesterday we made it to Christchurch - unbeknown to us as we stopped to ask directions, to hear the reply "you're already in Christchurch!"
We met with Leigh-Ann at Hubco (One of Kath's work contacts) to say a quick hello and introduce ourselves. It was a really nice stop (won't go into detail as will bore anyone unless they are into roof bars!) and a chance to have a break and another coffee :-)

Tee was also going to meet her friend in Christchurch, but unfortunately our times did not coincide - she looks forward to catching up with Stephen when he visits Oz this year :-)

We found ourselves searching for a campsite in Rolleston as time was ticking. WE took a quick pit stop to get some supplies, Kath asked the young boy at the checkout if there was a campsite in the town. He said he thought not, but turned to ask his colleage - who happened to be a lady from Yorkshire!!! Cheryl had a kind face and seemed eager to offer us a helping hand, she said the next campsite was about 40km away, but "I can help you out" she said. My eyes lit up, while Tee was still scanning the fruit isles. Cheryl said that she lives in Burnham (7km away) and has an olive grove that we would be welcome to pitch our tent in, and could use her home for a shower etc. An offer we could not refuse! So, last night we stayed amongst Cherly and Billy's olives, enjoying the company of their black lab, who seemed very interested in Kaths watermelon and Tee's salad!!  So, huge thank you to Cheryl and Billy for their unexpected and much appreciated hospitality. They have also sponsored us. Good people. Cheryl- if you are on Facebook, please add us.

We bid farewell to the olives a little later than expected as we hadn't set alarms that night, so to conserve battery life of our phones (woke at 7.03am).
Headed south, hoping to take advantage of the relatively flat terrain, until BOOM...Puncture number 1 came along and put a spanner in the works of our rapid pace! Dammit! Anyway, we thought this was sorted after changing the innertube, but having set off again, the tyre rapidly fell flat once more.
Several hours and much persistance and help from passers by later, we got the problem sorted and had Tee back on the road!

This brings us to tonight, rolling into Timaru we had our routinely call into a supermarket for supplies, where a helpful man took an interest in our ride and informed us of a top 10 holiday park "just down the road"! Perfect. So here we sit, in an internet room, a few yards away from our cabin!
Both very tired tonight as it has been an arduous day, with trials and tribulations!

Night night all.
Much love K&T xxx

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Wow!

We are blown away by the fact that over 900 people have viewed our blog - wow-wee! Thank you for all your support guys...big love, K&T xxx

If hills were kilometres, we would have cycled round the world!

You know you are going up a bloody steep hill when someone literally takes their hat off to you as they drive past in their car and shouts 'go girls!'

So, we haven't posted in a few days, we have been busy conquering an Island! Since our last post we have completed cycling the North Island - wooo-hooo! How does it feel? ...Like we can take on anything!
One memorable town we cycled through towards the end of the North Island, was a small town called Bulls. The signpost leading into the town read 'heard of Bulls? A town like no udder' The rubbish bin read 'response-a-bull', the church read 'Forgive-a-bull', the corner shop read 'restock-a-bull' and the police station read 'const-a-bulls'. It seems whover planned this town had a sense of humour!

Well, we must have chosen the hilliest country to cycle through in the entire world, there really is no flat before Auckland and after Hamilton, which means pretty much all of the country is made up of hills!
We were determined to get to Wellington as soon as we saw the first signpost, for us to see this sign was psychologically incredible and meant that finally, after all the climbing, the final piece of the map could be folded over! With time running out, we pushed on, faught the pain barriers and cycled a couple of MEGA long days - one of which we finished cycling at midnight in sheer anticipation of the ferry port! We were buzzing that day!
So, we got our ferry tickets for Picton and caught the 2.05pm ferry across the water. The ferry was immense! Like a 5* hotel inside, with a gorgeous food court, cinema, games room, but most importantly for us...RECLINING CHAIRS! After an amazing breakfast to fuel up, we took our spot, waved goodbye to the North Island and fell to sleep for the remainder of the journey! The good thing about taking bikes onto a ferry is that you get to be the very first to disembark! Yep, no queuing to get off for us :-)

Helloooo South Island! It's always a toss up as to what's worse, steep hills or a strong head wind. Oh guess what, we don't need to ponder the decision, the South Island offers both!
What a stunning Island this is, we can see the definite contrast to the North Island, cycling with the ocean in sight, with limestone walls beside us...this is what dreams are made of!

Kath's sleep talking is still going strong. Last nights conversation went something like this:
K: "Where's the cheese?" (waking Tee up)
T: "What?"
K: "You wanted the cheese on crackers"
T: "I don't think so, I don't eat cheese" (Kath wakes up)
K: "Why are you waking me up again?!"
T: *Laughs*

On our first afternoon on the South Island, Tee mentioned that she felt as though she was 'carrying bricks'. It later transpired that she had a flat tyre which we discovered at the end of the afternoon! We pitched our tent at a lovely campsite and decided to sort the puncture in the morning!
So, the morning came, puncture sorted fast and we were off for the day. This brings us up to present, where we are drinking a cup of tea in a place called Cheviot after completing approx 200km! Talking of tea, everytime Kath asks for tea, the waiter instinctively offers "English Breakfast?"

Update on Tee's injuries - trying to keep her arm dry and letting the air get to it as much as poss, in the meantime she's having fun repulsing Kath with the daily puss that oozes out of it :-( We will need to stop soon to get her stitches out, which may cause a slight delay (Kath won't take them out for her!). Thumb swelling going down, but still looks slightly deformed. Tee was a bit mortified realising this is the hand she may have to offer someone at the alter one day!

We have our morning routine down to a tee...Kath sets her alarm for three different times - 1st one for Tee to get up as she could dilly-dally for England/Australia, second one for Kath to get up (2.5hrs later!) jokes, then the 3rd as a 'get up both of you, or we're in the shit' alarm!

I (Kath) would like to just say a MASSIVE thank you to the very generous people who have recently sponsored me, it is very much appreciated: Melaine Woods, Jimmy and Hilda, my cousin Mark and..... Bonsall-Heimer (with excellent taste in literature...took me about 3 seconds flat to work that one out Heimer, but I continued to laugh for at least 5 minutes!) You all make this do-able, infact you make it a breeze. Thanks, hold your heads high.

Big thanks to AndyG for updating our map - you're my hero xxx

Much love K&T xxxxxxx