Sunday, January 24, 2016

Summertime blues

So my ankle still hasn't come around. I've had a 2nd set of x-rays done and nothing new was found. They saw swelling, possible soft tissue damage, and all the old stuff  I've racked up. So I've been scheduled for an ultrasound right before we go to India next month. I hope it starts feeling better soon, but I'm not very optimistic. I really don't feel like having more surgeries. I've still got a very painful  spot to touch, it gets painful after walking for a short time, and my physio exercises definitely aggravates it. However, I'm doing my exercises until I'm told otherwise. So what does that mean? Well I'm not biking as the range of motion and going up any incline hurts. I'm not running as walking bothers it. I've been belaying Beth at the climbing wall and I've done 2 routes, but that killed my ankle. Ian says I should focus on the finger board and just get stronger. I may take him up on that. I was doing pull-ups last time we were in. Swimming is a pain and I've tried doing just pulling sets, but doing 800m or more of pulling is asking for my shoulders to hate me. I've been doing some kettle bell workouts, but lifting in the summer heat is not that fun. So we've taken the kayaks out for several jaunts on the lake. Here is some information on that.

Today, we drove over to Acacia Bay and dropped in our kayaks for a paddle out to Mine Bay and the Maori Rock Carvings that are out there. It was about a 10km round trip paddle. We saw a couple of large groups coming back from the carvings. One of which was the Bay of Plenty Paddling Club. The others we were guessing were paying customers. It was a fairly uneventful paddle out, except for when I deemed it necessary to produce ramming speed. Beth was not happy about that. If you watch the video of the paddle out you may see her do her best Tusken Raider impression. The carvings themselves were very cool. We didn't get out of the kayaks to inspect closer, but from what I could see from the water they were impressive.
Besides, my lack of activity we've hosted a couple Americans and  a French cycle tourer this past week. I've been a part of a website called Warm Showers for awhile now. I joined years ago when I was preparing to cycle back to the States. Instead of doing that we stayed in New Zealand. I still have the plan of doing the ride when its time to pack up from here. Anyway, I was contacted last weekend if we would be able to host. This is awfully tricky for us as we aren't always home. I've had to turn a lot of people away as we were out enjoying life. So my first ever guest was Sofiane. He came to the house just after 5pm. It had been a pretty miserable day with high winds and driving rain. I wasn't too envious of him to be riding in that weather. Knowing he was to arrive around 5pm, I timed it so I was pulling chocolate chip zucchini bread muffins from the oven shortly before he got here. I also made pesto with basil from my garden. I then roasted a chicken, steamed zucchini, and made some pasta for dinner. We talked about his previous tours and where he was heading next while cleaning his drive train. I told him about the Japanese Odyssey, which I would love to ride as well as the Great Divide. He did the Great Divide in 2014 and thinks he'll be back this summer to race it. Who knows we may see each other at one of these long events in the near future.
The next night we had Alexander and Katie from NC staying with us. The night that Sofiane stayed with us, they were at another Warm Shower host down the road. So they spent the day in Taupo. We agreed to meet in town and give them a ride back to the house, with a quick stop over at their previous host to pick up their gear. While in town, we took them to Pauly's Diner. Katie being a vegetarian, had their vegetarian option and gave it her seal of approval. That makes 2 vegetarians who gave it their approval. I'll stick with my beef burger or fried chicken though. Once we got back to the house, we let them settle in for a bit before talking about where they were heading next. They were heading to the Timber Trail, about 55km away, to tackle the 85km trail over a couple days while camping out. After that they were heading to Tongariro National Park to do the Northern Circuit Great Walk.

These 2 sets of guests setups couldn't have been more different. Sofiane's was a sleek, fast setup with just a handlebar bag and a large seat post bag. While Alexander and Katie's were fully laden beasts of the road. However, their purposes are also different. Sofiane has 8 weeks to blitz the islands, while the others are going to do things off the bike as well like tramping. I know that my setup that I was planning on using is in the middle. I've got a rear rack and was looking for a handlebar bag. Who knows, I may invest in a frame bag and start going places on my mountain bike like Old Ghost Road or the Heaphy Track.

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