I jumped out of bed early, not to look out the window, as it was dark! The wind was howling and whistling and I just knew there was nothing I wanted to see! No, I remembered I had not charged my rear tail light!! I was going to need it today.
Since I was awake I started googling meteorological forecasts to see if there had been a miraculous change in Cyclone Hola’s trajectory…umm, no! Then I checked my Facebook messages and there were a few from concerned friends, including this graph.
Messages started coming in thick and fast. All were concerned for my welfare, as was I! Opinions ranged from stay where you are ( very tempting as I was snug and cosy in a very comfortable bed), to well maybe go to the next town and bunker down. Noone had me going any further.
If I am honest, yes I was concerned. High winds and bicycles do not mix. I also felt pressured as there was no obvious alternative to not riding given I had accomodation bookings for the entire route. To spend an extra night in one place would have a domino effect.
So I got dressed, had a quick breakfast, packed my bike, said my farewells to the most gracious hostess ever, had my photo taken, and pootled off…not really sure how the day would pan out.
I can summarise the day like this ….it started to sprinkle shortly after I departed… within half an hour it just kept bucketing down…and did not let up..and it still has not.
I got wet, horribly wet. The kind of cycling wet where when you sit back on your saddle, water leaks and dribbles out of your knick kind of wet, where you can feel your socks need wringing out…
I lost count of the number of long trucks that just drenched me as they passed spraying up water.
Then there were roadworks, slushy, boggy and very messy.
Then add wind…now I don’t think the wind was as bad as forecast. When it was a head or side wind it was a bit scary but it made me cold…really cold, shivering cold as the ride was in the last 40km.
All descents were slow as drainage was an issue and the downhills had torrents of water flowing, plus there were numerous rock falls on the banks.
On the positive side…umm let me think now….
There was some nice scenery. This first beach was really early on when it was sprinkling. I thought it was magnificent.
Then rain of course puts a different perspective on views. Here are some views. I did not take a lot of photos as reluctant to get the camera too wet.
I was so pleased to arrive in Oakura…I was very cold, very wet and shivering.
The main beach looked like it would be great on a nice day.
I turned my Garmin off and this shows my route and climbing.
I went to the accomodation but no one was home. Bashed on their door, and sat down on a chair next to the door and felt like crying as I was a bit miserable. All I wanted was a warm shower and the opportunity to get warm and it seemed that option might be a time away.
I was booked into a seafront caravan…I noted there were two and the door was open to one, so decided it must be mine. It was seriously awful…no towel, no shower, and a porta potty outside with pre soggied toilet paper. I stood there…noting that every window in the caravan was cracked, it leaked and there was water dripping in over the power cords….
Still shivering I decided only one thing to do and that was to strip off and jump into the bed wet as the doona seemed nice and warm. So that’s what I did. About 30 minutes later I felt much more human.
I made myself a cup of peppermint tea (carrying my favourite T2 tea with me). I then put on every piece of dry clothing.
For dinner I had a protein bar and a tube of baby food purée….as I was not venturing down the road 1 km to the local shop and getting wet!
I was talking to a few friends via messenger and John sent me a phone number for a motel over the hill. I rang it, and they felt sorry for me, came in, picked me and my bike up and took me back to their accomodation. Cup of hot soup, extra blanket and a nice motel room! They also gave me a token for the clothes dryer to get my gear dry! How kind of them, and I was so appreciative.
Early evening and the rain stopped and this was the view from my room.
So what a day…full of challenges, but I made it. Mental fortitude I seem to have when really called for. Today was such a day.