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Least we forget

Without really trying to I have started going faster. I seem to put in the same milage and the same elevations but get to the destination earlier in the day. The thing does not bother me, I am getting to the point where, apart from some notable exceptions, I feel I have got a well established feel for the country and most of the things that pass my field of vision these days are ones I have seen before.

Last night's sunset
Last night’s sunset

I slept well and i woke up to the sound of rain at 4 in the morning. It did rain all the way to 7:30 and I was starting to worry it was not going to stop, but it did.

Last night I turned in quite early, just after sunset in fact, the rain interrupted a conversation with my next tent neighbours, a couple of young people from Nebraska. When the rain stopped I heard them going back out and join the Frontera people for a chat and a drink but I did not get out of the tent.

I sometime wonder if I should force myself a bit more out of the shell and how many interesting opportunities I have lost in the pursuit of loneliness.

Kiwi, I fear this is the closest I’ll get to see one.
Pukeko, stupidest bird on these islands
Pukeko, stupidest bird on these islands

Today is ANZAC day,  and I was a bit apprehensive about it. I had been seeing signs for a few days now saying that shop and caffe would be closed on ANZAC day and I was running low on food. I left hoping that that was not going to be the case in all places as I really would have liked a bit of breakfast as well as the opportunity to stock up.

It turned out that I should have not worried. I got into Mangonui at about 9:30 and both the 4 Square shop and the burger joint were in business which meant I got fully stocked and had a super egg and bacon burger breakfast.

School's contribution to the day
School’s contribution to the day

It is quite a coincidence that today of all days was chosen as a day of celebration on this side of the world, it is and has been a holiday in Italy since 1946, if memory serves me well it celebrates the liberation of rome by the resistance and allied forces.

As I said to my sister, who’s birthday is today, if she moved to New Zealand she would continue to have a birthday with holiday status.

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Fed and stocked I left Mangonui and started the last 40 of the 46 miles I was going to cycle today.

The scenery was patchy, some beautiful views were connected by long stretches of countryside scenery. The one difference I notice in the north though is that there are a lot more Maori people here then I’ve seen anywhere in the last two and a half months.

Mangonui Harbour
And another “best of …”
On the way out of town, looking at where I'm heading for
On the way out of town, looking at where I’m heading for

When I got yo the SH1 junction I realised that there was another establishment that was not observing the holiday and instantly took the opportunity for a slice of apple strudel and coffee.

It is quite shocking the amount of stuff that I eat and it is equally shocking that I seem to be dropping weight all the time. I’m not sure if I mentioned this before but I should really market this as an excellent diet.

Almost there
Almost there
First set up camp.
Then go for a swim

Twenty more miles and I got to the campsite. I have mixed feelings about this campsite. It is quite expensive ($34 I have paid less for hostels) and it does not offer the same facilities you tend to find in the chain Campsites like Top 10’s. On the other hand the location is incredible and the people that are here seam to be people that come over and over.

I pitched the tent which, thanks to the wind and the sun, completely dried up in seconds. I then put all my stuff in and, in breaking with best practice, I left for the beach with nothing but my swim trunk. The water was a bit cold to start with but I had a great swim in the bay and when I got back all the stuff was there undisturbed.

I have a spot that is separated by a wee hill from the artificial illumination so I suspect that if I stay up long enough I will see a carpet of stars over my head, I will probably withdraw to the comfort of the tent soon enough enjoying what is going to be one of the last few dry nights before the heaven open next week and I will have to content with cold and wet sleeping quarters.

2 thoughts on “ANZAC day”

  1. Dont attempt 90 mile beach on the bike…could be hard work. At the North end there are some great dunes for sand skiing / surfing / tobagganing. Go on, you know you will have to try it when you get there…

    1. It looks like, from the weather’s forecast, that I will be swimming my way back from the cape. Today on the other hand I have 50 miles of cycling into the wind to get up there. I am already regretting the vanity exercise.

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