It was really hard putting the heavy packs on our backs after the canoes. To make everything so much harder we discovered we had four days of road walking ahead. The only other option was to bike but as our budget is very tight we hadn’t allowed ourselves to even consider it. Yet, on the day we started our walk out of Whanganui, a totally amazing town by the way. Five minutes into it we gave in and got two bikes. I figured I’ll just use my credit card if it comes to that, a thought I have had too many times lately. Not only would bikes bring us to Palmerston North way faster but it would also save the soles of my shoes from losing their profile. You might even say it is an investment really, ok, no, no you can’t say that at all but we managed to find one company who were crazy enough to rent us bikes for a good price. Although, being on a bike was a lot better than walking the highway. It wasn’t always easy. For starters our back packs, now a lot lighter as Michael from the bike hire company was going to drop our stuff off in Palmerston North, were way too rigid in the back support for biking, leaving us with really sore backs. Luckily, I could strap my bag on the back of my bike but poor Arthur had to stand up and bike the whole way.
Again, we were lucky with finding a place to stay on our way. A lovely man with a beautiful property next to a lake told us to stay the night, we did and it was wonderful. We had a refreshing swim and met some lovely people staying there as well.
It took us two days to do 100km and it felt weird and unnatural to travel so fast. The Km’s were flying by and I was considering keeping the bike until Bluff, seriously I think we are doing this the wrong way.
New Zealand has so many wonderful little towns. They might not have a very long history but they have so many stories to tell and I wished I could stay longer and discover them.
Palmerston North is a lovely town, a lot bigger than I expected. It has some big universities, making it busy with students and suddenly I wished I was one of them. I was sitting at a café, another thing we couldn’t afford, watching the streets over my lonely cup of chai when it suddenly hit me like a wrecking ball. It was a big load of superficial self-pity. As I looked down on my dirty shorts and hole covered merino top I got a terrible need to put on clean, nice clothes, make up, perfume maybe some shoes that made that cool clicking sound on concrete and go shopping. It was almost as if I had withdrawals for something I don’t even bother much in my normal life, yet now it made me feel depressed. I watched two girlfriends meet up over a cup of coffee, they had clearly made an effort to look nice and they were happily giggling over some gossip, it nearly made my cry. I felt silly, here I was on the biggest adventure of my life but all I wanted to do was join them in my fancy outfit and newly cut hair.
Another strange thing that has started to happen is that I have become way too interested in the horrible gossip magazines. I’ll pick them up at shops and have a look through something you would never have found me doing before, I despise those magazines but now I couldn’t get my hands of them. Once at a holiday park I even found myself reading through a whole magazine (It was left there, I haven’t bought any yet) I later told myself it was only to get to the crossword puzzle in the end but we both know that wasn’t true. So yeah, that has been happening, I guess the girl in me is having some longings I wasn’t aware of. I might have to do some changing room shopping in Wellington to satisfy this hunger. (Changing room shopping is when you try something amazing on that you know you can’t afford but you just want to admire the view in the mirror).
Just like with everything depressing I’ve been feeling along the way, I tucked it away, forgot about for the time being and put my dirty smelly bag on and headed for the Tararua Ranges.