Sunday – cycling, climbing and chips

Needless to say I didn’t go running this morning, but was still wide awake at 8am, 4 hours sleep – perfect!!

Skyped my parents at 10am, I had not drunk enough coffee, was still so sleepy!

Had a very lazy morning hanging out with the guys, all a little tired/hungover. Eventually dragged myself off the sofa to have the last of the nutella on toast for lunch.

In the afternoon I cycled to the hospital to visit Bruce – he’d warned me it was a long way, but had failed to mention all the hills…… was on a different bike to the other day and this one did not have good enough gear ratios to go fast down the hills or drop down low enough to get to the top of some.

Base hospital is a mix of old and a nice new hospital wing, which is where Bruce was. Handily as I stepped out of the lift, there he was! Had a good chat, then went for a walk around the hospital, walked up the aisle of the chapel with him humming ‘here comes the bride’, then came across some unattended wheelchairs…… Who were we to resist? We went running up and down the deserted corridors, then outside, through the car parks with Bruce shouting that I was kidnapping him – fun but hard work!

Back up on the ward it was time for vital sign checking, thankfully Bruce passed so our trip had done him no harm! Then it was dinner time, cottage pie and peach and apple crumble (that was yummy) and a lady came by with the tea trolley – amazing there – nicer than our dorm rooms!!

Eventually it was time to face the cycle back via yet more hills. I decided to take a route cutting across rather than going into town, not sure it was really a shortcut and it was certainly more hilly, but ended up at Pukekura Park and from there it’s only a massive hill before home. Went in the same way as one of the runs I’ve done. Managed then to take a different path, but suddenly I was in a clearing and there was the golden tree – properly known as the Golden Bearing.

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Was back just before 7pm, perfect timing for our evening plans of fish, chips and climbing Paritutu – a 200m high rock. Once we’d rounded up James, George, Sophie and Tent Tom (to distinguish him from Top Tom the lifeguard). James drove us down there.

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The chip shop was also a Chinese takeaway so there was a massive choice, but fish and half chips it was.

The climb up Paritutu Rock was fun, steep steps initially then they ended and there was a steel rope and a rock climb to the top. The view over the town, sea and mountains was amazing. It was heading towards sunset as we settled down to admire the view and eat our food – chips were really tasty, but the fish was nowhere near as good as in Oakura.

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We had fun taking photos as the sunset – currently the good ones are on George’s phone.

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Once the sun was down, the wind got up, so we climbed down before it got too chilly. The route was easier on the way down (probably as I wasn’t carrying everyone’s dinner!).

On the way home James drove us around the coast to see the last of the sunset, had a quick chocolate stop before heading home

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