New Zealand is a beautiful country and we have been lucky enough to see the length of it in slow motion. Thank you for having us New Zealand, it's been a pleasure.
So, 14 days from setting off in Cape Reinga, we arrived in Bluff. It wouldn't have been possible without all our support from you guys at home. Most importantly, you should feel proud for helping us to raise thousands for charity - well done. All who are reading this, please have a drink for us tonight!
From where we left off on our previous blog, we have endured strong head winds, freezing, feet numbing weather where extreme spooning just couldn't cut it (It was so cold that Tee went to the bathroom in the night and upon her return Kath began to spoon here for body heat before she was properly in the tent!) but best of all, the most stunning scenery, that can make you smile even after the steepest of climbs.
During one of our supermarket stops, a member of staff saw Tee's injuries from her accident and commented 'wow those Aussies make 'em tough don't they!'...haha you bet buddy!
Kath has thoroughly enjoyed the seafood en route - Dad and Ste you would LOVE the mussels and oysters here!
We had to take the 'scenic route' to Dunedin as the motorway was out of bounds for our four wheels, the locals had enjoyed warning us of the challenging climbs ahead of us before we reached Dunedin. So, preparing our legs and minds for the worst, we set off up the 15km hill. Hill? We thought it was merely a speed bump...just a baby by comparison to the hills of the North. Come on South Island, get a grip!
We had a nice chat to a couple of Kiwi mountain bikers on the way up, who were out for a days ride. Reaching the peak, the sun shone through the clouds and we took a moment to high 5 each other!
We reached Dunedin and had lunch at a funky Andy Warhol themed cafe, where Tee had mushrooms stuffed with garlic and a beaut salad and Kath had a soul warming chicken and mushroom soup and toast :-)
The World's Steepest Street is in Dunedin 'Baldwin Street', which climbs a vertical height of 47.22metres. on it's steepest section, the gradient is 1 in 2.86! We had a walk up there and took some pics.
We continued to head south where we encountered some real hills, where again we had to detour in order to avoid the motorway which extended the days ride more than we anticipated. Having run out of water and the sun peaking at 6pm, we found ourselves battling the vertical hills and longing for a mattress.
Relief came after a huge descent into a town just north of Milton (can't remember its name!) where we found ourselves a motel and slept right through, waking up refreshed for our last epic cycling day.
Throughout the trip, Tee has provided excellent acrobatics with her bike - she is fine whilst moving, but has a knack of falling into stationary vehicles at traffic lights and random objects when stopping!
Our final day was a long one, but it flew by! Every sign we saw gave us the motivation we needed as we knew we were so close to the finish. It was a happy coincidence that as we got closer to Bluff, a lot more vehicles gave us encouraging waves and toots as they passed (even police!)
Invercargill was our final stop, where we were pretty desperate for food as in the remote towns we had been to that day, none of the small stores would take cards and we were both out of cash! So, well fueled, we took off to conquer our last 'official' 25km's! We took it slowly, and had lots of time to contemplate the high's and low's of the last 14 days. This last 25km was pretty emotional at points. Kath was hoping for an iconic song to come on her ipod for the home stretch, something like Spandau Ballet - Gold or such like, instead she got Vengaboys - Going to Ibiza (I have you to thank for that Nathan Critchlow!).
Tee had Walking on Sunshine!
We rolled into Bluff at 7.58pm, gave each other a hug and let out a good old 'YIPPEE'! Booked ourselves into The Eagle and were given a very warm welcome by our host. We are looking forward to being a little less potent and a little more hygienic for the remainder of our time here! Having finger nails full of bike oil won't be missed!
Although it's not quite time to say move over Mr Armstrong, we think that 14 days is a fairly respectable completion time of the two Islands of NZ, don't you? :-)
So, what will we do with the remainder of our time here in NZ? A bike ride to Queenstown perhaps!
This trip has been extremely enjoyable and worthwhile, it is important to emphasize that we couldn't have done it without the massive support from our family and friends back home, or indeed without each other.
We take our hats off to the people who have completed this trip solo, Jim Turner to name just one. It really is more psychological than physical, and goes to show you really can achieve more than you believe.
To all of you who have followed our blog: think of something you would like to achieve, somewhere you would like to go, or something you dream to accomplish...and act upon it. You are the only one to determine your fate, remember... impossible is an opinion, and in our opinion, anything is possible.
This won't be the end of our outrageous adventures, there's sure to be something else in the pipeline, but for now it's time for us to have some R+R!
Thanks for all your support, we have felt you were actually here riding every km with us. In fact, during one water stop, we were asked "where's your support vehicle and crew" to which we replied, "they're back home".
Signing off for now, before we make ourselves cry!
Loads of big hugs and kisses, can't wait to see you all.
Lots of love, Kath and Tegan xxxxx