My adventure start here > day 0 et 1
DAY 9 : FORGET THE PAIN AND KEEP MOVING (94km in 4h42)
I open my eyes at 7:30 a.m. I hurt everywhere and I can’t feel my legs anymore. I get out of bed and try to bend my knees. The pain is violent. “Okay maxime, you have 95km climb today, it’s going to be a real pleasure …”
My Airbnb host is really too kind! He got up at the same time as me to make me a coffee and a few slices of toasted bread. I bring my porridge and my peanut-butter to complete. We discuss “cycling”, time flies.
The truth is… I just don’t want to get back on my bike.
9:00 am, I finally decide to get back on my bike. For the first time, the pain in the knees is more intense than that the ass!
60min after the start, I crack on the side of the road.
The pain is too strong on my left knee. I’m trying to compensate with my right leg, but that’s not enough. I put the bike on the side. I crack. I cry without really knowing why. Vipassana had shaken me well, but that is nothing compared to this adventure. Vipassana, you spend 10 hours a day sitting meditating on yourself. By bike, it’s the same thing with physical suffering on top !
It’s “vipassana on steroids”
Your mind is always trying to bring you back to the same subject: “but why are you doing this”. When all is well, it is easy to answer the question: “because I imagine a world where everyone wakes up inspired to go after their dreams”. Except when everything goes wrong, you quickly return to purely selfish reflections. That in any case “it is useless, you are wasting your time”. And so your energy to continue is completely dried up…
The Arising and Passing Away
30min later: I finally convince myself that what arise, always passing away. Nothing is permanent. The pain is here, but it will eventually go away. The suffering is there, but it will eventually disappear.
So Maxime take your bike and keep moving! For the next 60 kilometers of climb, I will gradually recover my good humor, in proportion to my decreasing pain. The sun will even show up !
Lake Tekapo: a postcard landscape
Coming from the other side of “Burkes Pass”, it’s just beautiful as you approach Lake Tekapo. The landscape changes completely with drier mountains and especially a turquoise water color worthy of a postcard!
3.30pm: I arrive at my Hostel “YHA Tekapo”. Despite the “bad” first experience on day 4, I decided to give them a second chance. I really like the energy that comes out of this place, populated mainly by back-packers. Everyone is unfortunately often the head in their smartphone.
When I arrive in my room, I hasten to take a shower and I discover good news: my body is gaining weight! (see day 4 for the “before / after”)
Quick tour of the local supermarket, I offer myself a good bottle of wine to congratulate myself. I will give half by going to bed to two young girls delighted with the gift! 9:00 p.m. lights out.
End of the day : my activity on Strava
DAY 10 : WHAT A LOVELY DAY ! (87km in 3h29)
When I wake up, my body is still “cold”. Left knee pain is still present. Strongly that I rotate the legs to heat the muscle. I don’t know why but today I’m in a good mood!
Maybe because the end is approaching or maybe because the course is only downhill today 🙂
Departure at 9:00 am today with the mist and a temperature just 10 °. Lake Tekapo is located at 713m above sea level, often surrounded by thick mist in the morning. After 200m, I stop to put on my jacket while waiting for the body to warm up by itself.
No gloves, no problem!
30min later, I no longer feel my fingers. I didn’t expect it to be this cold during my bike trip, so no gloves to protect me. I wonder if a pair of socks can do the trick. Apparently, yes!
I turn my legs better and better, with a good average speed (25km / h). Being in a permanent descent cheers me up! I don’t see many people at this time of day.
Kilometer 40, I arrive at the edge of Lake Pukaki. Like Lake Tekapo, it feels like a postcard landscape before our eyes. The lake stretches as far as the eye can see. Since the water is very cold, there is never anyone on or in it.
Kilometer 60, I pass a new lake. Smaller, but with even more intense colors!
Did you know that 40 years ago New Zealand had 22 sheep per capita? This figure has dropped to 8 in the past few years. A fall attributed to increasing droughts each year. On the other hand, I have the impression to have seen cows more often than sheep!
3h39 later, I arrive at my destination. A newly built motel apparently. There are ice cubes in the fridge! Perfect, I’ll try to heal my left knee.
9:00 p.m., lights off.
End of the day : my activity on Strava