Thursday, April 17, 2014

Day 42: Geraldine to Fairlie

April 15th 2014
Distance cycled: 80 km
Total distance to date: 2588 km

This morning's checkout was at ten, and from the time I got up at 7, I made sure to have the tent in a dry place on the kitchen deck for as long as possible. It still wasn't totally dry when I left, but that's what happens when a tent spends all night being misted on. 

I had a choice to make: take the scenic route, or shave off 34km by going directly to Fairlie on Highway 79. Ultimately I decided on the longer route. While I think it was the better choice, I don't think traffic was much lighter (since only one-third of this route was on a quiet backroad; the rest was on Highway 8) and it's frustrating to see my lack of progress when I look at the map. 

Anyway, the rain continued on and off for the duration of the morning. About 30km outside of Geraldine at a place called Pleasant Point (it was indeed a very pleasant place), the sun actually came out and I felt warmth again. The rain then stopped for the rest of the day, allowing for some nice photo ops. 

The light was especially good as I made my way into Fairlie. 

Those last 10km into Fairlie were the highlight of my day. I had just turned on my iPod to motivate me through the home stretch, and it surprised me with a few Wagner pieces. It was kind of exhilarating to listen to Ride of the Valkeries as I blasted along into town. 

Fairlie is an adorable small town. It also only had one place to camp, which was exorbitantly expensive. I chose instead to bike around a bit along the side roads to look for an unofficial camping spot. Time was of the essence, as the sun would soon set and I needed to have something worked out before then. However, I kept getting distracted by the beautiful sky: 

I settled on a patch of grass behind an old house that had a sign on the door indicating it belonged to the town theater troupe. The spot overlooked the rugby field, which I wrongly assumed would not be used after sundown. But after I had climbed into my tent for the night, a bunch of pickup trucks came rumbling into the carpark. Then I heard shouting voices, which at first startled me. But it was just some local guys playing a game of after-work rugby. Or teens having practice, I'm not sure which. All I know is that they either did not notice me or they chose to ignore me, which was good. I went to sleep as I listened to the rain, which had just resumed again. 


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