Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Day 39: Springfield to Christchurch

April 10th 2014
Distance cycled: 60 km
Total distance to date: 2366 km

By morning, the rain that had sprinkled down all night had all but stopped. I made my oatmeal in the dampness and decided that trying to let my tent dry would be futile. So I packed it up wet, deciding I would air it out later in the day. 

There was another cyclist at the campsite, but he was not very keen on talking to me about cycling or anything else really. We had exchanged a few words the night before. I had found out he was from the UK and living in Christchurch. He was just out for a 3-day tour. 

I went to a cafe in Springfield that the lady at the campsite had recommended called the Yello Shack. It was alright I suppose. A bit expensive. The UK guy came in a little while after I did but ignored me. 

I hit the road again and came to a town called Sheffield. They had a pie shop that was supposedly famous. Of course I'd just had one in Springfield but I had to have another because this place was FAMOUS. I had a steak pie which I found to be a little on the salty side but it was good. I also bought a bag of homemade shortbread. 

The rest of the way into Christchurch was flat and nearly non-eventful except for an encounter with another touring cyclist!! I have met so few and he was so great to talk to. His name was Mike and he was from Canada. It was his first day riding in New Zealand but he has been on the road for 4 years. We talked for the better part of an hour and ate some shortbread before going our separate ways again. 

I stopped sometime later for a lunch break. It was chilly so I got out my head covering, which is really just an old shirt that I wear under my helmet. 

Once I got into town, I found a library so I could connect to wifi and see if any of my Christchurch hosts had accepted me. None had, so I called one that had told me to call if I had nothing else. I figured it couldn't hurt, and if it didn't work out I could always check into a backpackers. Alec answered the phone and told me to come on over. He and his wife Alison live in a lovely place near the center of Christchurch with their two college-age children. They would be hosting another cyclist the next night and said it would be OK for me to stay another night if the other guy and I didn't mind sharing a room. I said it was fine by me but if he didn't want to that I could always pitch my tent in the yard. 


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