I had been feeling a little rough yesterday so my planned ride in Wellington never materialised and I was in bed and asleep by 8:30 pm. I woke up today feeling better and after Steve had cycled me to the ferry I was looking forward to a good day and a 70 km ride along the coast to Blenheim that looked stunning.
The ferry crossing was everything it lived up to be and boarding with the bicycle was hassle free.
Once at breakfast though my problems started. I had not eaten much the day before other than a picnic provided by my hosts in New Plymouth so decided to go for a full English. On opening the ketchup disaster struck as it sprayed all over my trousers. With the local passengers not trying to snigger I quickly hopped up to get some tissues to clear the mess up. Great !
On arriving on the South Island I set my sites on cycling to Blenheim via the challenging coastal road. I knew from the profile there was a lot of climbing but was feeling good. It started well the first 20 km rolled past with some steep climbs and beautiful descent into stunning bays.
Then I hit gravel track. I thought it would only last for a short while, but it did not. 20 km later I emerged from the gravel track that had climbed and descended around the beautiful coastline having been on the receiving end of 5 punctures and chronic stomache cramps. My illness was back. I had now run out of inner tubes and only had a couple of patches left when disaster struck, I punctured again. I was tired, dehydrated and feeling pretty rough but at least I had got back onto the proper road. I set about trying to repair some of the punctures but it was of no use there were too many holes and not enough patches. It was a front wheel puncture and with a good road surface I decided to ride on (rather gingerly at first) and then at a good pace. I had decided to stop at the first hotel I found because I was by this point exhausted. 18 km later I stopped having found a small hotel run by some Welsh people some 10 km from Blenheim.
Once in my room I filled the sink up and started to look at repairing the punctures. The first two tubes were binned with just too many holes in them. This left me with with just the one in the front wheel which I managed to fix badly.!
So in all a tougher day than expected but the scenery was stunning. Hopefully the South Island will be more forgiving over the next 6 days.
I can now here the man in the room next door snoring.