This was supposed to be a really easy day. No real climbing, more or less flat for the whole day and the more food I ate, the less I had to carry. Too bad the weather didn’t like me.
A goodbye to my new friends, and I started packing my stuff.
It started really well. Tailwind, fast speeds. Little to no rain. Suddenly, I was doing 12 km/h. Downhill. And damn, I had to push.
In the smallest of uphills, I was down at 5 km/h. I really didn’t get nowhere. It had started to rain pretty bad, and I was soaked. Everything was cold. I was so glad I had those extra gloves, otherwise it would have been even worse.
On the flat part I did 7 km/h. A lady even stopped and asked me about hypothermia. She told me to take it really easy, and take care of myself. There was a café just a kilometre ahead, and I was already aiming at that one.
Most pictures will look pretty boring today, and of course I could edit them like this, making everything look nice, magical and edited. Wouldn’t reflect the trip, though.
At this point I had actually done 32 kilometres. There was an open fire here as well, and they seemed like they wanted to help me. They didn’t sell any food, but didn’t mind me eating my own in there, so I bought a pot of tea and sat as close as possible to the fire to dry up. Sat there maybe an hour.
I decide to continue, and still though it was possible to do my 75 kilometres.
Suddenly, a short, but steep, uphill. I really wanted to hitchhike, but it was a bad spot for anyone to stop at, and I pushed myself to get up there. I really had zero energy.
The downhill was pretty shielded from the wind, and it felt good for a while, and even the flat stretch afterwards went on in 15 km/h. I knew this would only be for a couple of hundred metres, though.
I checked my phone, which soon turned itself off, probably because of the cold weather. At that point I put my thumb out, and soon a camper van stopped to pick me up. At this point I had done 6 kilometres since the café, but now I was exhausted, and even colder.
They were an Australian couple, with some friends in another camper van, and they all were going to Springfield. According to the thermometer it was 4 degrees celsius outside, and it would be warmer at the lower level Springfield would be at. I didn’t want to change my plan, though, and after about 17 kilometres they dropped me off where the road was turning to the east, at the corner of Lake Lyndon. We drank a cup of tea together, and I got a package of rise crackers, which I ate before I continued. I also put my fleece on. Kind off a bad decision, as my rain gear still let too much water through, but I was too cold.
The road I wanted to ride was a gravel road, which even was closed. I didn’t really mind that part, though, and would just be happy without all the cars.
I didn’t make it too far, though. After another 4 kilometre, with a small mountain shielding me from the worst rain and hail, I saw how it stormed around the corner. I already had problems getting anywhere at all, and at this point I was ready to risk a fine at 200 NZD. The risk of hypothermia felt pretty high, and I was actually a bit afraid, and I was really unsure of what would happen if I crossed that corner and continued. Pitched the tent, and kept myself moving around, fixing whatever needed to be fixed for the night. The tent was still wet since every day I used it the last week, of course.
I kept my thermal underwear on me, to hopefully make it kind off dry before going to bed. No energy to cook anything, and just wanted to keep the tent close, I ate crackers with jam, peanuts and raisins as dinner.
Made some sit-ups every now and then to get my heat up. The sound from the outside was really high, as the storm continued. It hailed every now and then, and when I went to the bathroom, of course.
I had a merino t-shirt, my thermal underwear, my warm socks, two buffs and a totally closed sleeping bag. That, plus earbuds, as the sound, and sudden shakes of the tent, made it really hard to sleep. I woke up a few times feeling bit cold, but thanks to not getting a new sleeping bag, and using my -9°C T-lim sleeping bag, I was mostly warm, even though everything was more or less wet.