Okay, okay. I swear that’s the first and last Lord of The Rings reference…ya right. But seriously, we were told about the endless hills in NZ and it was true. If we’re not labouring up steady rocky roads, we’re bombing down the sketchiest cliff-hanging highways into windy valleys.
But let’s back-track for a second and get down to the details. Leading up to Day 1 of the skate, we all headed to the grocery store to get proper-stocked on food that is small in size but big in health. That’s a nice way of saying canned beans…more canned beans than a cowboy could shake a sausage-roasting stick at. Of course we got some other things to keep us going, the most obvious being water. With that done, we packed our sleeping bags and travel gear into the small red station wagon that gurgles with resentment every time James turns the key. We’ve named her Lucy, you’ll hear more from her in the future.
So off we went to the starting point to take a few photos, sneak some high-fives and hugs from our Auckland friends and get to shredding. In order to avoid heavy traffic we chose the back roads. This was a weighted decision that has had its repercussions but also overwhelming benefits.
From these country paths we have a great view of the beautiful country that is New Zealand. The rolling pastures sweep past us filled with curious sheep, remarkably vocal cows and super friendly locals. The latter seem to have an endless supply of smiles, waves and space in their cars. It’s pretty tempting to jump in a farmer’s pick-up to get over those especially challenging hills, but we resist that urge and decline the offers with as much graciousness as can be mustered.
One peculiar challenge we hadn’t anticipated is the recurring and ever-frightening beast known only as Goat. You’ll see him serenely crossing the road with his family, but as soon as he spots you he charges! Or he’ll be hiding somewhere behind a mysterious fence waiting to slide under it and rear his rectangular pupils at you in a chilling example of herbivorian rage. We respect you Goat, please do not hurt us.
But it’s been two days and we’ve managed to survive it all with high spirits. Last night we camped under the stars and had a delicious hot pot of…can you guess it? BEANS!! They’re surprisingly versatile though. Hint: crush some crackers into your bowl for varying texture and flavour, or for the adventurous gastronomer, eat them cold for breakfast! You get the point.
Tomorrow we’ll head out and try to cover our minimum goal of 40-50 KM. Check back on Friday for a new blog and some epic pics of this glorious land. And cross your fingers for us, the Goat lurks.
Daniel + The S4C Team
Photography by The New BEAT