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Day 20: Winton to Bluff

Bluff, New Zealand

We leave Winton at a leisurely 9am, noticing the feature town statuary. We have, by chance, timed the final stage of our cycling epic for Waitangi Day, (New Zealand Day). So Invercargill is very quiet as we pass through, pausing to book in at the Tuatara Lodge YHA.

Claud carefully reads the sign welcoming us to Bluff. "WHAAAAT!???" he exclaims. "Don't worry, Claud, for us it's the end of our trip."

As I cycle the last few miles from Invercargill to Bluff, in conditions so grey and dull that I have my rear light on and the cars all have their headlights on, I reflect again on the trip. It has been truly amazing. There had been a little empty corner of my mind just waiting to be filled by those perfect mountain and lakeside scenes. But it was too immense, too beautiful, too everything to take it all in, no matter how long I stood gazing, goggle-eyed. Did I really cycle up Lindis Pass? sit by Lake Tekapo? look down on Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables? It already seems a somewhat dreamlike memory. So many amazing scenes, smells, stars, silences and friendly and helpful people along the way.

Still, there are more important things in life than looking at mountains. I miss my wife and family and friends back home. I wish I had had someone with me to share and, in future, reminisce with about these experiences. I am sure we will come back to New Zealand; there is so much more to see.

Bluff nestles below "The Bluff" hill itself. The "Welcome to Bluff" sign is about the only colourful thing about the town, which seems rather neglected, though the people I talk to are cheerful and friendly, as they have been everywhere in New Zealand.

As we glide to a stop at Stirling Point, the end of the road, the sun breaks through the clouds and the point itself suddenly looks very attractive in the sunshine.

I say to Claud: "Well, Claud, you are a legend!(in fact, a Claud Butler Legend) We've done it - Cape Reinga to Bluff in 20 days! At this moment, I feel almost as one with the astounding land of the long white cloud. I'm sad to finish, really. What about you, Claud? Tell me your inner thoughts?"

"Can you get off now, please?" replies Claud, not unreasonably, as he has had his saddle in total darkness for three weeks, embedded in my, by now, rather tautly rounded and tensile buttock cheeks.

But then Claud adds, perhaps more aptly for the occasion:

"A upane kaupane whiti te ra! Hi!"


PS By the way, you may wonder why you have never seen Claud's face on this blog. Well, that's only because, like his saddle, it has been covered all this time, by the bar bag. But the handsome visage of my faithful companion for the last three weeks can now be revealed.

Distance today: 62 Km, cumulative: 2313 Km, remaining: 0 Km

permalink written by  John and Claud on February 5, 2007 from Bluff, New Zealand
from the travel blog: Cape Reinga to Bluff
Send a Compliment

You make a handsome couple, you and Claud!! Rather too much anatomical detail in the last entry - is it really the Taylor backside???!! love wife

permalink written by  Pat Taylor on February 8, 2007

Hahah.... you wish, Mrs Taylor!!!

Speaking as someone who has studied this subject pretty closely for a while,

permalink written by  Claud Butler Esq. on February 8, 2007

Truly a legend in his own cul de sac.

The Old Basing crowd will celebtare your success in customary style; better get back soon or you'll miss the party.

Seriously, a remarkable feat, well done


permalink written by  Debe Gillham on February 9, 2007

Daddy! well done a thousand times over. What an amazing challenge you have just completed. I canĀ“t make out who is the more handsome, Claud or yourself. Enjoy your first marmalade sandwich when you get home! x x x x x x x

permalink written by  the daughter on February 9, 2007

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