Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Day 4

Sleep in today, no train to catch. Today is a free day as there is no schedule.

Last night I talked to the kumara ĺocals in the hotel,  interesting bunch.
Ťhis town has a population of 350. It had a lot of history with gold miners, the locals are still miners.
There used to be ĺots of Chinese from China,
They were hard working miners and market gardeners,  they generally kept to them selves and were called "coolies", not sure why.
I ask them were have they all gone, .?  Apparently they have died and bodies were shipped back to China,  mostly were men so there were no or little children.
There is a town nearby called shanty town.
Which has all the knowledge of the history,

I had breakfast with two other ladies,  a bit older than me, who were teachers, we talked about BYOD  at school and other bits. They are going to cycle up to there next stop,  a place called paradise cowboy. Some 32 km away. My plan was to go there to... Then back to Greymouth,  that's 32km there,  32km back, then 29km to Greymouth =93km. I asked if there is a cafe at cowboy paradise,  so I can recharge my batteries an have lunch,  apparently they do.

After breakfast, it's now 10am, and we head off,  I tried to peddle as much as I could to conserve  the battery, but there some big uphill, around 350m up total.
It started to rain.

I took most my photos  on the way up,  as I know, the weather going to get worse and I'm just going to zoom back.

I arrive at cowboy paradise around 1.45pm

It was more like a ghost town,  there was no one here,  I don't think they even had power,  running on generator I assume.
I hang around for 20 minutes having some lunch (can of sardines,  some complimentary cookies from kumara, ) the others have not arrived  so I will start on my way back.  I calculated,  my average speed was around 10km. Meaning with 60km to go,  it's going to take me 6hours, I need to average 15km. Battery was still good, about half or 1/3.

Really raining now,  mostly down hill now. About 10km back,  there some small Hills,  the battery was struggling,  20 km... Very low,  not enough voltage to assist much.
This would be around the 50km range.
Bear in mind,  that range was base on a 60kg person, flat ground, sealed road,  no peddling.
Now I am 90kg, with 15kg bags,  on gravel road,  and uphill.

I'm averaging around 9 km.  I'm thinking get a charge back at kumara.
It's wet, cold,  and I'm getting a head wind. It's all slow going.
I reached the reservoir, and I see a road going back to kumara,  I decided to take the road than the track,  it does make a big difference,  and it's shorter about 2km.

Arrive at kumara and It's now 5.30, I really need to start moving before it gets dark,  there no time for a charge,  even a 2 hour charge wouldn't do much.

So I change to dryer clothes,  gloves.
The rain coat is waterproof but it's the sweat and rain falling in from my head making it wet.

Now back on the road,  with strong headwind. Like pushing manure  up the hill, I have an option of keeping on the road, in the open rain and passing traffic, or take the trail back to the bridge,  I opt for the trail as is seem safer, and shelter in the forest from the rain.

I finally approach the bridge and from the local advice,  hop in the centre and when at the bottom indicate you are to stop and move over to the left across the rail tracks. It worked okay this time.
Now the slow hog back to Greymouth.

My legs tired, Battery was not doing much,  just a dead weight, I can only average 9kmhr, and 25km to go. I calculated,  it's going to be about 8.30pm I get there

My average speed slowed to about 8kmhr now,  and as the counter reached 5km to go,  I have a burst of energy, but it was short lived,  even at some small Hills,  I had to hop off and walk, then I couldn't really walk anymore. I just had to keep pushing,  there were at times Wth just a few km to go,  the rain turned to hail,  I just want to give up. But no,  I need to finish it,  and I did.

A marathon,  98km, 10.5 hrs.
Now I just need to get to the back packer place....

I check my Google map,  it says caution in beta phase,  I had to cross a bridge go up a steep climb.... 44minutes? What the hell.. I thought I booked some where close.

So off I go,  across the bridge and it started to hail,  so I keep going straight after the bridge,  but I'm supposed to go right,  back track and go right,  it does not look good,  it's dark, the road up is a open road(100kmhr), and there is a bend as I approached it,  a rock cliff face and the main road, no gap for me at all.  ttere is no way I'm going there,  I will be on the road with cars going 100kmhr, in the dark and up the hill.

It's now about 9pm, the backpackers  lady has been waiting for me since 7.30pm.

I went back over the bridge. And into the town,  what a disaster,  I went into subway to get a roll,  the only option I can see is to stay some where else,  or get a taxi,  so I ask the subway Guy to call for a taxi with a bike rack, but there is none with bike racks,  I ask the subway Guy if I could then leave my bike here in the shop and pick it up tomorrow,  he says it's ok, and called a taxi for me,  even gave me a free apple pie!
Finally reach the backpackers  Lodge and the hostess was kind and made me a cup of tea. She even turn the electric blanket on for me and got the fire going to dry my shoes, I think she wanted to tuck me in bed but had to go,  I told her I probably call a taxi to pick me up in the morning (train departs at 1.45pm), but she offer to take me in,  so kind she is.

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