About Richard
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Report: #21
Date: 23/12/01
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Subject: Pulling the Wool Out of My Eyes

On the RAINY ride from Pukekohe to Wellington, I encountered another hazard to an ICBM (Intercontinental Bicycle Man. Though perhaps in future I should get more politically correct and say ICBPerson. only, thinking about it, actually I prefer to allow "man" to denote both genders...) During this time of the year there is a lot of sheep shearing done in these parts, so occasionally we cycled into clouds of wool fluff. I tell you, it's one of the most irritating and painful things to get into your eyes I can think of. But, as ever, I have staunchly made it through to be able to, once more, write up this missive for your edification.

I have now been joined by my wife, Haruyo, in my riding, after vehemently denying that she would ever travel by bicycle like me. Just at the last minute, when it came down to the wire and I had to leave for the south island, she decided to swallow her fear and come along. So far she'll probably tell you that she hasn't enjoyed a bit of it yet. And, what with the hard rain and the punctures that I'VE had because of my old innnertubes, I'm not surprised. The rain has made for pretty chilly riding over the central highlands. And there was barely a glimpse of the primal-looking volcanoes up there to warm our spirits. At the end of one day, we were heartened by a superb view of snow clad Mt Ruapehu, but we stupidly left off photographing it, thinking that the next day would reveal more glory. Of course, cloudy wool was yet again draped about the mountain and we missed our golden opportunity. And I had disobeyed the number one rule of travelling; Take your chances!

Half the reason for that was because we had to make it to the only shop in the only gas station in the vicinity before 7pm to buy milk. And after that hunger was eating us from the insides and we were gagging to get our teeth into some pasta. Haruyo cooks wonderfully. I don't know how I ever did without her.

Well, she is now waiting for me to finish this in the rather-too-chilly air-conditioning of this email joint.
Gotto dash to Woolworth's supermarket for supplies for tomorrow's ferry ride to Picton.

Bye for now.


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