Archive for September, 2009


Support us and help others…

Monday, September 28th, 2009

If you’re interested to know what we are carrying in all those bags on our bikes, have a look at our kit page for a detailed breakdown of everything. We’ve also updated the Route page, adding a google map to show you the places we have been so far on our journey.

If you have sent us a message of support or made a donation, you can now see this on Our Supporters page. And if you’re still not sure about making a donation, please read about the children we are supporting. Our trip is completely self-funded and we are covering all of our costs, so all of the money that you donate goes directly to Child’s Dream to help build a school.

If 4000 people donated £5 we would reach our target of £20,000, so our aim is to tell as many people en route and encourage all of to you to tell everyone you know. It worked for Obama! So join our facebook page, subscribe to the RSS feed and email everyone you know, and in the meantime we’ll keep on pedalling!

Thanks Liz & Chris

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Playing in Palmy

Monday, September 28th, 2009
Our shelter - Ray Mears eat your heart out

Our shelter - Ray Mears eat your heart out

So we have now been in Palmerston North since wed 23rd, having a few days off and spending time with Sarah and Richard. Amongst other things, we walked the Manawatu Gorge and ended up finding a great root vine to swing on Tarzan styley.

Coming across a fallen down tree, we decided to clear the path and build a den/shelter with the branches and foliage. It was loads of fun and it felt like we were kids again playing in the forest. The end result was quite impressive and 4 little monkeys with bananas (us) climbed inside to get a group photo.

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Waverley, Wanganui and will power

Monday, September 28th, 2009

We were keen to make it to Palmerston North as soon as we could, to see Chris’s sister Sarah in time for her birthday.  We went from Hawera to Waverley on monday 21st, camped in a park for the night, then onto Wanganui on tuesday 22nd. I didn’t have a very good day on tuesday, legs aching, feeling a bit tired and emotional, i felt like the slightest thing would make me burst into tears. Half way up an uphill (that looked like a downhill but wasn’t) I did just that. I spent the rest of the day feeling the same way, trying not to cry and just didn’t really want to cycle. The cycling itself wasn’t the problem, it was all in my head, i was just feeling fed up and frustrated with myself for finding it hard. And for the first time I felt a bit homesick, not for home itself, more for my mum really, i suddenly just wanted to hear her voice.

I also felt like i needed someone else to be finding it as tough as me, to share the same feeling, that way i wouldn’t feel so rubbish. Chris was loving it all and not finding it too hard at all, not even a bit, so his experience so far was quite different to mine. I explained all of this to Chris over dinner and the next morning he said something that really helped, that he really has no idea how hard it must be for me with all the weight on the bike, legs hurting, pedaling like mad to get up those hills, but the fact that i was managing to do it day after day must mean that I have a lot of mental strength and resilience, probably more than he has. It made me feel heaps better and helped me focus on the fact that i was doing well and to be proud of myself.

That day we cycled all the way to Palmerston North, 47 miles and arrived at Sarahs, hurrah!

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Back on the road 20th September

Monday, September 28th, 2009

Sunday morning, after scrambled eggs, we set offtowards Stratford, hoping for a better day of cycling. It was glorious sunshine and no wind so it looked promising. We set off and in no time at all we reached Stratford, very pleased to be able to cycle again. After buying some washers to fix the top clips on the pedals, we continued to Eltham to see if we could say hi/possibly stay with Scott (who we met in New Plymouth). Unfortunately he wasn’t in when we arrived so we never got to hear about his cycling adventures in the Rockies, maybe another day…

The cycling was going so well, that we carried on and got to Hawera. We headed down to the beach, racing the sunset, only just arriving to see the very last edge disappear below the horizon.

Hawera sunset

Hawera sunset

The sunsets and night arrives so quickly here that you you have to move quickly. Having chosen a camp spot high above the picnic area, up a steep grassy bank, we were literally racing to get the tent up and the stoves on before we lost all of the light. The temperature dropped and I was cooking with my down jacket on to keep warm. I cooked a feast of sausages, with red onions and gravy, with mash potato, heaven. Some mugs of tea and then into the sleeping bags. I couldn’t get warm, i had leggings on, 2 layers on top, socks,  a hat and i was still really cold. In the end Chris suggested i wear his leggings too (Icebreaker thermal base layers) and got out the space blanket from the first aid kit to wrap around me. Neither of us could understand why i was so cold, Chris wasn’t cold at all, but i just couldn’t get warm. The leggings and space blanket helped and I eventually fell asleep with my sleeping bag pulled tightly round my head.

The next morning we spoke to a farmer just by the road to the beach and upon telling him we’d camped he said “Is that right, I bet you were cold, it gets cold down there!”. I felt a little bit better hearing that – Kiwis are a pretty hardy bunch so for them to say it’s cold, well it probably is.

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Wind and woofing

Monday, September 28th, 2009

After a lovely day off, we planned a breakfast of eggs and beans on toast before setting off for Stratford. Overnight the wind and rain blew a gale and I woke up during the night feeling like we were in the middle of  a storm. We packed up, showered then headed to the campsite kitchen for our breakfast treat. Only someone had beaten us to it and helped themselves to our eggs, beans and bread. We couldn’t believe it, someone had stolen our breakfast! Oh well porridge it is then. ( Turns out a man, not from the campsite, had come in and taken them, caught on video).

Leaving New Plymouth, Mt Taranaki in background

Leaving New Plymouth, Mt Taranaki in background

It was still really windy and I hoped the wind would die down once we got away from the coast. Leaving New Plymouth, we finally got higher up and could see Mount Taranaki at last. A perfect snowcapped mountain.

The wind didn’t die down and it was ridiculous trying to cycle in it, the amount of energy required was crazy. How could it be this windy? I was all over the place on quite  busy road and didn’t feel very safe. After 8 miles I really had had enough. In a very bad mood we stopped, had a sandwich and tried to decide what to do. We agreed to stop as soon as we could see a place to camp. We were at Egmont Village and headed towards Inglewood.

We were not far down the road when Chris spotted a backpackers, with camping. We stopped and spoke to the lady there, she said we were fine to camp. She then said in jest that if Chris fancied mowing the lawn before putting up his tent then that would be great! Chris, never one to miss an opportunity said that he could do that for her, for na upgrade in accommodation. She said “a cabin?’ Chris replied “a dorm” and a deal was struck. Chris did about 2 hours work in the garden in return for a dorm room for the two of us, sweet.

It was a lovely place, with a big woodburner, nice sofas and a chilled out atmosphere. We pretty much had the place to ourselves, apart from Tim would was staying there too. It was so nice to be inside and out of the wind, I was very relieved. What we didn’t know was that this place seems to have a history of bicycles. In the kitchen there is a bike mounted on the ceiling with all the pots and pans hanging from it. The fence used to be made of bikes too, but they are all now piled up in the garden in some kind of bike funeral pyre. It was obviously meant to be. So if you are in the area, we can recommend a stay at The Missing Leg Lodge.

The Missing Leg Lodge

The Missing Leg Lodge

Big thanks to Tim who gave us some of his eggs so we were able to have scrambled egg on toast after all. Good luck with the dairy device Tim!

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