Monday, 28 March 2011

Making the most of my last few days down under!

I can’t quite believe that I fly home in 2 days; these last 3 months have gone so fast but I guess as the saying goes time flies when you are having fun! I have had an awesome time but I am looking forward to coming home now! When you’re Eftpos card bounces and the temperatures in England top NZ I think it’s time to come home!  I have had a great last 3 weeks of training; I am feeling stronger and stronger all the time now, contrary to my bike which has decided to slowly pack in, it’s quite a wreck. Riding out of the saddle pedalling along it sounds like a percussion band, enough to do your head in after a hard session! Clearly showing the repercussions of being boxed/ put back together a total of 14 times in 3 months. I'm aware it has been said that I pack my bike up Paris Hilton style but I am proud to say that only a brake cable has been stretched in transport! I was looking forward to being able to put my battered bike to rest on my return however I have just found out I am no longer getting a team bike for the racing season… so if anyone wants to provide me with a new road bike that would be very kind indeed!
Looking very calm, cool and collected before I jump... hmm

I have managed to pack in some exciting stuff during my rest days, sampling some of the adrenaline fuelled activities NZ is notorious for and getting a taste for the kiwi culture. The highlight has to be sky diving, jumping 16,500ft out of a plane was the most insane sensation, there is no way to describe it so I am not going to even try- you just have to get out there and experience it yourself! I wasn’t nervous at all until I got in the plane, then the reality of what I was about to do hit me! On the way up my camera man and pilot were bantering about how they couldn’t remember how to attach my harness and how they couldn’t read the Japanese inscribed. He was like mate don’t worry about it you are allowed to have forgotten it’s your first time! I bought it momentarily! Sky diving appealed to me more than bungee jumping because you don’t get the plummeting sensation and your eyes will still be intact afterwards!

Talking to a friend on Skype the other day she asked me whether I had changed over the last 3 months. I was like, this experience has matured me. I now look at peoples pictures from uni antics and think how very immature haha. No just kidding! I do feel like I have grown up a little bit though, going away toughens you up and makes you more adaptable I would say! If paua, cray fish and feijoa’s were the only edible things left on a desert island I would more than cope! My pace of life I feel has slowed down big time; I have no sense of urgency whatsoever…  I can’t walk fast anymore; I get overtaken by pensioners when I am shopping which is slightly concerning!

My flight is just before midnight on the 30th so I am looking forward to spending the day sightseeing in Auckland. I'm slightly apprehensive about the prospect of sightseeing on my own however. Recently I have found that you attract lots of weird men when you are wandering around on your own. The other week I was looking around this market on my own (as you do), I walked past this stall selling an assortment of yummy cakes/biscuits making me really crave shortbread. Anyway a few minutes later this man behind his stand I was looking at goes to me “do you like short men?” Now I interpreted this as “do you like shortbread?” By which I replied “yeah they’re yummy.” At the same time reviewing his question in my head, just in time to eat my words!! A few days previously I went to this café for lunch which do the best salads. This weird man kept glancing over, so I just put my sunnys on and ignored it. Then when I got up to leave he promptly follows. He caught up with me a few minutes later and was like “Hi there, I didn't get a chance to introduce myself in there; I just wanted to say it was really lovely to see you in there and I hope I will get to see you in there again.” There are some weird people in Nelson!

I am dreading the 24 hour flight back. Eating shitty food in anorexic sized portions and breathing in every Tom, Dick and Harry’s lurgies that are recycled through the air-con. I can see why people might come to NZ on holiday and never leave! NZ is such a cool country; I have met some great people and feel proud to say I am half kiwi!! I have learned so much about cycling, bike racing and life in general (haha this is starting to sound a bit corny) getting away from the harsh British winter was such a blessing! I am now feeling really psyched for the domestic/ European racing season ahead of me. 

So this is my last blog from NZ, so sad! I'm looking forward to being able to wear some different clothes and not living out of a suitcase, all the white clothes I came out with are coming home pink thanks to the mishap of a red top mixed in with my white wash! There are so many things I am going to miss, can't say I will miss the warm down from training, the last couple of km finishing up a climb where you have to output 450W minimum just to stop yourself going backwards nor the aggressive NZ drivers and log trucks that generously give you an inch of room if you are lucky. Neither will I miss the harassment from this Maori guy called Pearl who is convinced I have stolen his sim card so rings me up regularly threatening to get the police involved, and all his friends call me up too thinking I am Pearl as we have the same cell phone number! 

Ciao for now, thanks for reading my blogs xxx

Bit of biscuiting on Lake Rotoriti!

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