Hot as hell
Trip Start Oct 14, 2008
136Trip End Ongoing
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Today we left early to try and beat the heat, storming over the 200m high Hunderlees in the cool of the morning. I tried but failed to stop myself going 'Hunderlee, Hunderlee, Hunderlee' during both the climbs & descents but Hannah didn't actually throw anything at me, in fact she is worryingly accepting of my occasionally odd behavior (I know this to some of you includes cycling round NZ, so as she is also doing this maybe I shouldn't use her to judge my normalcy).
After the Hunderlee's the heat became a real issue. I don't do well in hot weather, firstly it makes me sweat in a unlady like dripping off my nose manner and it also and maybe slightly more worryingly makes me feel faint and unwell. (Sometimes this worries me less than the sweating but only when there is someone I particularly fancy around, which today was not the case).
So dealing as best I could with feeling faint and unwell we crossed the Hawkswood pass (about 2000m up so only a little pass by future standards). By the Waiau river it was all becoming a bit to much, Hannah kept asking if I was OK, in a worried tone that said you look a funny colour but I don't want to alarm you.
When we came upon a petrol station we dived in like it was a oasis in the desert, in fact it is probably the modern equivalent. I manged to drink another 1.5lts and refused a ice cream, a sure indicator things were getting serious.
During a chat with the very friendly despite having opened the shop at 6am assistant, we were told that just down the road there was a river that could be both swam in and sat by.
We decided we could make it the required 500m but only after sitting and mentally preparing ourselves for another 10mins. We made it but on arrival we needed to sit in the shade and recover.
After a couple of hours of endurance sitting, watching families coming and going, many of whom stopped to comment on the heat, reporting thermometers reading between 35-42 degrees on local farms. This made me feel way less of wimp and possibly makes it the hottest I've ever been!
We did eventually try swimming in the river, which was very cooling but also a very strong current. So I wondered back to shore and sat longer while more people came and went. Including one grandfather who stopped for a rather serious and sober chat about the economy, his grandson though was more interested in swimming and rock throwing, I seem at the moment to swing between these two view points, making my metal age somewhere under 10 or over 60, which will surprise no one who knows me well.
Eventually we dragged our bikes upright and ourselves onward to make it to Cheviot. We camped in a rather eccentric camp ground/motel/hotel. The camp included; a group of train drivers on holiday with there families, sheep, chickens, a swimming pool, a spa pool and a young English couple who had never seen condensed soup before and were baffled by the concept.