20/02/15, Day 22, Hanmer Springs

Great day today! As in absolutely fabulous dear! 

So I woke up early, but just laid comatosed in bed until around 0900. Then wrote yesterday’s blogpost and uploaded some pictures to instagram and polarsteps, while lying in bed.

And while lying in bed in overheard two of my hiking room mates discuss the approaching remains of tropical typhoon Uesi, which will hit the south Island somewhere tonight and will bring bad and potentially dangerous weather to the west coast for the next week. The local meteorological weather service has issued an orange weather warning for the entire west coast. The hikers were staying put or planned on doing different stuff for the next few days. No hiking for them… 

So I finished my blog and other social media stuff and then checked my mailbox, just to find out that my return flight home has changed again due to the Corona virus. I’ll now fly back one day later, through Singapore (on an A380 yeah!) and then on to Amsterdam. I’ll arrive somewhere Sunday afternoon, return to work on Monday morning… My boss is going to be thrilled with me 😀 I already couldn’t quite figure the first alternative fight through Shanghai anyways…

After this I dragged myself out of bed and checked with the Hostel owner on what he thought of this approaching weather. He didn’t seemed too impressed, so I decided to check weather forecasts again towards the end of the day. I don’t like weather forecasts anyway, because they are never right, unnecessarily limiting people in their plans. I always just look out of the window. On the other hand: i don’t want to be the stupid person that gets into trouble because I’m not well informed.

Anyways: next thing on my list was to find a little bolt. On of the brackets of one of my panniers had come lose after all the shaky roads, and I lost the bold. I tried the local bike mechanic first and he send me to the local garage, some 5k down the road. I had to wait a bit, but after he was finished with other people he helped me out very friendly! Sorted!

After coming back to the hostel I decided to finish all bike maintenance before getting breakfast, so I got out my alan keys to tighten up my brakes a bit. In that proces I broke my rear brake cable!!!! And that’s the spare bit that I decided not to bring, while I have a complete set of inner and outer cable back at home! Potentially this was very bad! You can ride with 1 brake, but it’s a bit of a redundancy issue… You lose all redundancy 🙂 And with all these crazy hills around here I quite like the redundancy in my brake system!

So… back to the bike mechanic. He had a brake cable, but had a wrong ending. And once I had fed it through the outer cable, it turned out to be too short! So the guy simply said we had to shorten the outer cable and grind down the ending a bit, and before I knew it he was cutting the outer brake cable loose 🙂 It felt like someone had just started cutting up my baby haha. But he guided a new outer cable along the frame and fixed it with tie wraps. And he fixed my brake 🙂 And did a great job! He explained that kiwis just have to work with the stuff they got, because other stuff often is just far away or simply unavailable 🙂 New lesson for me. In drastic situations, drastic measures are allowed! And new lesson number 2: it doesn’t always have to look good, as long as it works! Very important for me, being an architect :-)Aesthetics do matter though!

So I thanked the guy, paid the shopowner and offered the mechanic to buy his favorite drink to thank him. He sadly refused though 🙂 I am very grateful though, because I already imagined myself taking a bus to Christchurch to find the right parts….

So today was supposed to be a lazy day. By the time we were finished with the bike it was 1400. I then had breakfast and then had a nap in my room, and did some reading. And napped a bit more. Then had dinner.

While having dessert i checked the weather again and forecasts were still as bad as before, so I checked with Phil and Veronica on how serious I had to take these warnings. Pretty serious apparently. And not only the weather itself, but also what it would do to the roads i was suppose to take. Apparently washouts are not that uncommon. So my route changes again and I won’t be following the west coast after all, which is a shame 😦 Instead I will head to Christchurch tomorrow and will follow and alternate route of the Kennett Brothers or an alternate route proposed by Phil and Veronica instead.

So I have no clue left on how feasible it still is to make it to  Queenstown in time 🙂 Worst case I’ll just hitch a ride the last bit. Best thing is that the Corona Virus, the remains of a typhoon, gear trouble, bike trouble, headwinds, fire danger and insane amounts of hilly ups and downs are still not keeping me off my bike 🙂 Who said cycling was fun? Great day darling 🙂 Absolutely fabulous… I’ll just drink away my sorrow with Cider…

My broken pannier… still a bit rusty from the Molesworth road though…

My whole bike was as dusty as the pannier. So after the bike mechanic fixed the cable he offered to give it my bike a professional rinse. Supposedly it runs better when it is clean. I quite like the accumulation of dirt 🙂 Shows the bike has been places. Just keep the vital elements clean…

Nice little town, Hanmer. Very touristy, which means lots of food as well 🙂

Weather warnings…

Former tropical typhoon Uesi clearly visible…


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