Queenstown to Te Anau
176km | 1073 climbing meters
Complaints, Cafes and Calculators
New Zealand police have been very nice to us. Over the past week team 20 have had three visits from them. I am not sure why Team 20 has ended up with a 3 to 0 score line? Team 27 have their reasons though (naughty). I think two have come from complaints (vehicles held up - it does not take long for drivers to vent their frustration!) and one random check. It is a little puzzling though as we have never had this issue before [complaints]. Being a massive tourist destination where most of the traffic is made up of campervans and buses there must be a few tourists in a hurry to get somewhere? Our teams generally gasp more than a few times a day as drivers take really bad overtaking options.
We move on pretty much oblivious to the world's worries. Stopping of at a Café today (70km from Te Anau) for a coffee stop we were accosted by a manager or owner. After purchasing coffees, milkshakes and fries (energy!) we were approached by a man asking "Do we know where we are?" I personally was a little confused as I didn't know what the name of the town was, so I couldn't answer him? Next came, "This is a café get your own food out of here!" Awkward silence proceeded as we tried to digest what he was saying, until it clicked. It was a different kind of customer service. We then tried to set up Andy Hellinga (leader Team 20) by letting him know there is a really friendly café owner who lets you BYO food, so bring in your eskies and make yourself at home (chilly bins for kiwis)! Bad boys I know, very bad. Andy by-passed the café and kept his team moving. Good move, and sorry to all the café owners who feel for this guy.
At this stage we have one day left! A 120km ride to Milford Sound. Paul Taylor probably has had enough and is more than looking forward to the end point. He is bruised and battered, suffering really bad saddle sores, leg pain and after a little bingle today is ready to throw his bike away. Others are starting to click on that there seems to be more than 6500 climbing meters from Christchurch to Milford Sound. We are currently at 9223 with one day to go - I honestly don't know how I came up with 6500? But it does seem like I am going to receive a new calculator for Christmas. Even people at home are making it known on our Facebook page (thanks Phil)!
So after a really good ride today by both teams we are ready for the final leg. Tomorrow will see Team 20 head out first with Team 27 starting off around 2 hours later so we can all meet up at Milford Sound at around the same time. Words like "hunt them down" have been mentioned by Team 27 in a joking, but really serious way. We will keep it safe and try to enjoy our last day. Everyone will have their visual senses exploding as they try and take in all that this ride tomorrow offers. So staying focused till the end will be reinforced tonight!
What a week it has been. Some want to keep riding, others have had enough. Please send through any comments and encouragement you can for the team to finish well.
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