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2000 Biking New Zealand

Day 04, 11 December 2000, Monday
Wanaka; Wanaka Bakpaka, $44

We’re popping Arnica! Hoping to quell aching hands and thighs and calves and feet. Charl and I both slept 12 hours last night – 9pm to 9am. Both exhausted from three tough days.

Wanaka Bakpaka is a truly good hostel. It is situated just across the road from the lake and up a little – giving it wonderful views over the lake and mountains and the town to the left. Attractive rooms and courtyards with flowers. Helpful staff. Clean bathrooms. Little extras. A folder of restaurant menus. A tip on the cheapest way to get beer – take a plastic bottle down to x store and have it filled. A board that goes up after 8.30pm saying office closed, whether or not rooms are available, what to do if your problem can’t wait until 8.30am.

We did our washing and hung it in a hot sun to dry; pottered around town; replaced our lost bicycle lock and had someone adjust my handlebars to give me a little more room between my new saddle and my bars; lunched on salad and soup; and shopped for a hostel-cooked dinner. Charl even found time to advise the owner of the hostel who was repainting the outside wall how better to do this (he had been painting the grouting first with a paintbrush planning to do the large cement bricks after with a roller; Charl suggested he swap the procedure as he would find there was less painting to do with the brush than he thought. The guy was most impressed!) I lazed by the picture window thereafter, but Charl still had energy for a sojourn to the pub in the ‘dorp’. Where he met someone who said New Zealand welcomed South Africans provided they did not have an ‘attitude’ – for ‘attitude’ read provided they were not racist.

There is a huge Christmas tree in the town with a sign underneath saying “This tree is under video surveillance – thieves will be prosecuted”. The first security-consciousness we have thus far encountered.

We really needed today – a good long day of rest.

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