9-9 6 Lessons in Traveling

Jason is wearing a hat under his helmet and
 the jacket is over about 3 other layers.
We’re learning about weather again.

First lesson: When engaging in an activity you used to be good at, don’t assume you still have the same capacity.

I used to bike commute 6 miles in about 35 minutes through city traffic. This does not translate to 10 mph on a highway after not being on a bike for a year. It doesn’t translate at all! The first day we averaged 10 kph or about 6 mph. The second day we went up to 12 kph and the last two we’ve been doing a steady 15 kph, or close to 10 mph. It just took a few days to get in shape.
Second lesson: Account for all portions of the distance, including the part that happens in the towns.
We forgot to account for the distance inside Christchurch, which added about an hour onto our first day. That wouldn’t have been a problem, but…
Third lesson: Getting going on the first day will ALWAYS take longer than you’d planned.
We figured we’d be out of camp at 10am, on the road by 11 am and have 6 good hours of biking before weneeded to start thinking about stopping for dusk. We left thecampsite at 10:15. We left the bike shop at 12:15. We got out of Christchurch, after several shops, at 1 pm. Whoops.
I tasted the wine and found it to be good.
So then we bought a bottle.

Fourth lesson: When someone says, “It might be cold that time of year,” listen more carefully.

We’ve been living on a tropical island. “A little chilly” translates to frigid! Next time, pack accordingly, including thermal socks and long underwear.
Fifth Lesson: Stop and smell the roses. (also, taste the wine and watch the frolicking lambkins)
This picture doesn’t do them justice but the lambs are adorable.
They are also afraid of the bikes and keep running away from the camera…

Despite all of the above poor planning,we could have made it. We would have done 6-8 hour days on the bikes with very few stops to sight see or enjoy the view. We would have been aching in the thighs and sore in the arse but we’d likely have gotten there. On the other hand, I came to New Zealand to see New Zealand. So, we changed plans. A few times. Every time we top a hill to another extraordinary view where we stop, catch our breath and take pictures, it is worth it.

Sixth Lesson: Roll with it.
Peace Corps has hammered this lesson home. We’ve re-adjusted our travel plans a few times and keep tweaking on the fly. We aren’t holding tightly to anything and we’rehaving a ball. Just roll with it and it will all work out.
Worth it.

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