Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Now Is The Hour For Us To Say Goodbye

We are at the Sudima Hotel, within walking distance (really) of Christchurch airport. In fact we have just walked over there to confirm the time we need to be there in the morning – because our first flight is domestic, to Auckland – we can leave it until one hour before departure. So we can delay our check-in time until 4.30 am. Deep joy!

Our final walks in New Zealand, for this year, have taken place. Monday we clocked up 20 kms, by the time we had walked to Shirley's for tea. She lives on the highest point in Oamaru, near the lookout point which has a signpost giving distances to Vancouver, London, and many other places. This made for quite a warm walk! We had a very pleasant time with well-travelled Shirley, never-travelled Peter, and their friend Bev.

The tea at Shirley's was the evening meal. Before we set out, we were having afternoon tea with Tania and Paul, who had invited us along to their campervan. Our list of Kiwi friends grows by the day!

Tuesday we managed to clock up 16 kms. Today was a driving day, as we had to come from Oamaru to Christchurch, then to Rangiora to hand over the car and bikes and Gay's keyboard to Robin, then back with a driver to the hotel at the airport. Robin will guard the car and bikes (and keyboard) until our return in January. He has also arranged for the damage to the car (you may remember a campervan reversed into it) and will collect Gay's bike (the air-filled shock absorber on this fairly new cycle, which has had less than 6 month's use decided to collapse yesterday, not leaving us much time to get it sorted out) when it has been repaired.

So today (Wednesday) was a busy day. Even including our walk over to the airport, we have managed only 5 kms. So our total walked in New Zealand during 2009 is 1205 kms. With the bits I walked in France before we left home, my total for the year so far is 1294 kms. My objective for 2009 is to average at least 10 kms a day, so on the 105th day of the year I am 244 kms ahead of schedule. Just as well, because I am not sure how much walking I will manage to do over the next two or three weeks, when we will be either travelling or staying with relatives or friends.

Tomorrow, after the early flight to Auckland, we have another flight to Adelaide then of course the trip into the city to find our accommodation. Later in the day we have Gay's annual reunion with her sister Dana, who will be travelling from her home 3 hours outside Sydney. We have 5 days in Adelaide, during which we hope to be meeting more of Gay's Australian relatives, including her brother Donald, who lives in Adelaide.

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