2020 New Zealand

02/25 Day 32, Te Anau

I slept remarkably well 🙂 Of course there are many sounds around. The water flowing from the lake into the river. Fish jumping up out of the water. Ducks splashing around. Geese honking. Other birds making their own noises. The nearby suspension bridge squeaking. Leaves rustling. A hedgehog or some other animal rummaging around. Being alone like this puts all your senses on high alert. Simultaneously you know that there is nothing around. So while reading my book, I fell asleep 🙂 I did wake up a few times during the night because it actually got quite cold. This was the first time that I crawled deep into my sleeping bag, but it kept me nice and warm 🙂

In the morning I woke up to the noise of raindrops on my tent. A quick look outside showed that it was a bit grey. However I was in no rush to leave. Just 65k for today, and mainly downhill. The bit of rain stopped rather soon, but I stayed in my tent untill around 0800 and got on my way around 0900.

The road was okay for gravel standards, and the best thing was that there was no wind yet. So I got along quite fast 🙂 Scenery was definitely not as good as yesterday, but at least I didn’t have to put in the significant labour to get the kilometers done either 🙂

At some point the gravel road got onto the sealed main road again. A sign said that the Mavora lakes were 39k towards where I came from, meaning that I only had 26k to go 🙂 Something must have been wrong with that sign though, because those 26k gradually downhill seemed to go on forever. And in good tradition of all the other days of riding, the wind picked up again and ruined my gradual downhill.

But I finished it. I got to Te Anau around 1200. Last 65k in the pocket. 2035k in total and some 22500m of elevation gain. That’s 2.5x mt Everest 🙂 And at least two thirds of the way against the wind 🙂 And I guess about a third on gravel. That all makes that it’s definitely not been the easiest 2000k I ever did 🙂 But I did it anyway. And I’m very grateful that my neck and knees kept up with the challenge 🙂 And it’s also nice to know that I still can take of myself and that I don’t necessarily need a tour director, an assistant tour director, a cook, a medic, a bike mechanic, a photographer, a truck to carry all my stuff from A to B, a lunch truck and a landcruiser to fill up my water, to make my trip a succes. Although I did make some visits to bike mechanics along the way 😦 

So that’s it for the cycling. Tomorrow I’ve booked a day trip to see the Milford Sound because my mum said I should really do that 🙂 and I always listen to my mum 🙂 And the day after that I’ll start making my way back to Queenstown. And from Queenstown to Auckland. And from Auckland back home. Worst is that I have to start take notice of what I’m eating again 😦 Because I can’t grow fat! 

Southern Mavora lake

The grader! Your best friend on a dirt road!

It was nice riding today. Last NZ kilometers!

Ending the day with a beautiful sunset over Te Anau lake

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