Today was going to be a boring day no matter what. The canal I’d be riding along, while really pretty, is just a canal. You need about 5 minutes to take it all in and you’re set.
Before I got to the canal though there were some good times. Someone stopped me along the trail and asked if I had an Allen key. I’d asked for the repair kit for the bike I was riding in case I got a flat and I thought maybe it would. Sure enough it did. So achievement unlocked: trailside bike mechanic in another country.
Then I got to the shore of Lake Pukaki. This is the lake Mount Cook, the tallest mountain in New Zealand sits on. It’s also very very blue. Very blue.
I got some lunch from the visitor center and refilled my bottles and rolled onward toward the canal.
That’s when the fun stopped. Headwinds. The entire time. All the way along the canal. I finally rolled into Lake Tekapo and was so exhausted I could barely speak. At the information center they said unless I had a tent there was no vacancy anywhere in town. So the holiday park was my only option. And it was outside of town a bit. Fortunately the guy who was picking up the bike and dropping off my bag agreed to take me out to the holiday park. It turned it to be not so far, but in my condition any amount of distance was not welcome.
I then texted a friend and was basically quitting. Huts have been more full. Towns have been harder and harder to find accommodation. Logistics of food and even navigation around major obstacles (the 2 big rivers in the next stretch) are getting more complicated. My pack is mildewy after the rain the other day. I can’t even zero day in an actual bed, I’m just in my tent. Bleh.
She talked me down, and now that I’m set up at the holiday park it’s not so bad. My campsite is about 200 feet from the lake, the ground under my tent isn’t just gravel and cigarette butts, I’m feeling better about my predicament. Tomorrow is going to be a rest day, and quite possibly the next day, just for grins. I have some resupply to do but really I have so much food leftover that even after getting rid of some of it I’ll have most of what I need for the next section. I still haven’t quite figured out food but at least I’m carrying food I eat and I feel like I’m generally eating enough, so that’s fine.
Tomorrow I clean my mildewy pack and find the leak in my sleeping pad and go for a swim in the lake. Tonight I sleep.
Oh, and one of the biggest issues is that my kindle died. Seriously this is a huge blow. I often joke that my kindle is the most important thing in my pack but it’s not far from the truth. I guess I’ll have to find a dead tree to read somewhere.
A rest day will be really nice though!