Tuesday 26th Feb 2008
Feeling a little on the delicate side I enquired about staying at the very
comfortable Dorset House again. Negative Ghostrider - so I packed my bags and
stumbled to 'Shalom', one of the few places to have a single room available.
Stumbled `through the door to be met by a Kiwi version of Shaggy Doo who
responded to every comment, question or suggestion with the phrase 'Sweet As',
pronounced 'Schweeeed Ays'. My room was pretty basic but they had wifi which
was a bit of a result.
The Salad Challenge
Bowled into town needing to pick up my rental car and buy a mountain bike.
Didn't feel on top form, wandered about the city centre looking for somewhere to
lie in the sun, found it at Victoria Square. Attempted to eat a beef salad, 90
minutes later I gave it up as a bad job and headed off in search of a bike shop
Falling in Love When You Least Expect It
Still not quite feeling 'Sweet As' and conscious of my not being with-it enough
to buy an icecream nevermind a decent bike. The last time I felt like this
in a major shopping area I came home with a suit I didn't need. Spaced out and
hot under the t-shirt (yes, an unfashionable 'special material' one), I had an
encounter that has changed my life, or at least my trip. It all started in
BikeHQ, Christchurch, where a keen rider Dave introduced me to her. I now
believe in love at first sight, well, sort of. They (who?) say that you're most
likely to meet your future pardner in the supermarket, well in my case a little
lady strolled rather unexpectedly into my life when I wasn't looking. I had
managed to stumble upon a great bike at a bargain price, a Yeti 575 for $3750NZ,
that' about 1500 quid, the same bike in the UK would cost at least double that.
Beat that Lawro! Cool, so I spec'd out the bike and Dave agreed to build it up
for me for the morning an cut me a deal on accessories, or 'sharpen it up a bit' (get me a discount)
as he described it. They didn't have a white or black frame in
a medium size so I went for a red, not my first choice but size does matter.
You Can With A Nissan
Picked up a Nissan Pulsar from Roadtrip Rentals for $850NZ for 40-odd days, not
a bad price all things considering, shout out to Jezza for finding me this
bargain. The motor is an automatic which makes it like a go cart. It's done
220k kilometers but feels alright. Aircon, will fit a bike in etc. It's got an
overdrive button which will undoubtedly remain permanently in the 'on' position,
I mean, why would you *ever* go anywhere more slowly than you need to?
Cooking on Gas
After last night's over exuberance food was defo on the menu for The
Shandyman this evening. I even considered driving but that would have been
ridiculous. Good job I didn't as I selected a rather fine bottle of vin rouge
to go with my muscles starter (huge local ones) and then a sumptuous (say it
like Stuart Hall) Lamb Thingy. [See pic]. You can tell this country takes it's lamb
seriously because just like steak in England, they ask you how you want it
cooking and insist on it being not more cooked than medium rare. My table for
one was filled with reading material and the obligatory nineteen different maps
and moutain bike guides as I planned my itinery around the South Island based on
the best area to ride in which I reckon are around Queenstown then up the West
Coast and Nelson, someone suggested Naseby too. Strolled home
contented and very well fed.