Deep cleansing breath.
I. Am. In. New. Zealand.
For. My. Ironman.
I am so excited I am trembling while I type this. It has been such an adventure getting here (on the 10-year scale) and getting here (on the 4-day scale). I don’t know if I’ll remember everything that has happened since I touched down in Wellington, but I’ll try to use the pictures as a guide.
Sam and Laura picked me up late at the Wellington airport and we made the 2 hour drive to their host’s home in Palmerston North. We had a Christmas in February gift exchange, called it a night, and spent the next day assembling the bike, going to the grocery and finding an adaptor for all my necessary electronics: Laptop, Kindle, iPhone, iPod, and camera. That evening Sam was kind enough to introduce me to a New Zealand delicacy: the Tim Tam Slam. Tim Tams are little chocolate covered graham cracker and chocolate filling cookies. Sam explained to me that you bite off a corner, bite off the opposing corner, plunge one end of said Tam into milk or hot chocolate, suck liquid up through cookie, and end up with a mushy, melting mass of Kiwi goodness. I could not believe it myself when I actually ate one of these carbohydrate yummies.
Laura ate one too:
The next day was a busy one. We took the bikes out for a spin around campus and Palmerston North. We visited the town’s botanical gardens and aviary, and I got to see a lot of Massey University. We brought home dinner from the grocery store and spent the evening watching the Kiwis report on the Olympics. (Hint: New Zealand doesn’t give a crap about the Winter Olympics)
Next day we packed up the bikes, all my gear, their gear and headed north to the little town of Mangaweka, where the kids have just finished their summer jobs as raft guides on the Rangitikei River.
We got into town early enough to hop on the river for a couple of hours paddling.
(At this point I’ve temporarily suspended downloading any more pics – internet is working at a snail’s pace, so I’ll just write now and add pics later).
Anyway, we had a delightful time on the river, with their friend Sarah, who has also competed in the race Sam did in February across the south island, the Coast to Coast. The banks of the river rose into high, grey sandy cliffs on both sides and we saw sheep alongside as we paddled. The river was beautiful and clear and cool and very different than our rivers in the east.
I’ll publish up to here, then add another entry for the next adventure: Getting to Lake Taupo…stay tuned for Lord Of The Rings connection…
February 28, 2010 at 9:34 pm
I am soooo excited and proud for you.. I will be skydiving on Friday to celebrate my 50th on March 5, you will be doing the ironman the following day..wow..love reading about your adventures and can’t wait to hear more…don’t hurt yourself and will see you when you get home..
March 2, 2010 at 8:37 am
Lori! Congrats on the big birthday celebration! Make sure you remember everything so you can tell me all about it! I’ll try to keep you posted on the Post-Iron Party we’ll have when I get home!
Have a great jump! You are sooooo rocking 50!