Bike Odyssey
New Zealand 2004

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Journal for 8-Feb-2004 : Invercargill

I slept really poorly, kept awake by the frequent heavy rain outside. So I wasn't in a great mood to start with.

Yesterday we rode past all the possible attractions for one reason or another. Mostly to do with too much gravel road ahead. Today we avoided the scenic route because it was all bad gravel, and instead opted for the bitumen inland route. The AA map showed this through lots of forest, but there were more sheep than trees. Not as hilly as I feared, but a few hills none the less. The wind was still howling from the west. Not quite as strong as yesterday, but strong enough.

We got almost twenty seconds warning. I got my raincoat on in the nick of time. Unfortunately the family with the boat trailer that pulled up behind us wern't so quick, and got soaked changing their flat.

Linda rather mad with me as I'd assured her there would be a public toilet at Fortrose, at the very least at the petrol station. When we got there the petrol station it looked like it had stocked nothing more than rat scats for the past thirty years.

Flat riding to Invercargill, and lots more headwinds. Got showered on again, and delayed by sheep crossing. Not for the first time with a long stretch of clear road ahead of us a car shot past the skin on our elbows without yielding an inch. This has been a disturbingly frequent occurrence since arriving in New Zealand on this trip, something I don't remember happening at all last time.

With damp roads covered in sheep shit, there was a familiar (to New Zealanders) aroma in the air. Is it just me or does *all* New Zealand stink like this all the time?

After a day of being treated like sheep shit, we copped a gob full by some sheepshithead who decided citizens initiated execution with a motor vehicle is perfectly acceptble treatment of foreign tourists who have the temerity not to ride their bikes on the footpath. Strangely, telling a Kiwi they're a f*&^ing idiot genuinely seems to shock them. Surely they are used to it by now.

If you havn't guessed, New Zealand is starting to get me down a bit. I know my expectations were sky high, but it seems all that's happened in the past two weeks is rain, headwinds with lots of sheep for us to look at and sniff.

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