Friday, February 12, 2010
B is for....
Blenheim! We made it in at 2pm on Friday afternoon, leading to a cumulative time of 6 days and 2 hours. So we were about 2 days behind the leaders, but can boast of having had lots of good sleep every night. The journey was exciting of course, and will be described in full detail (day by day) in the vaguely defined future.
It's hard to describe the feeling of finishing something like this - on the one hand, there is the immediate relief, achievement and gratification. On the flipside, there's a quiet denouement - it feels strange to wake up without the sense of purpose and promise of adventure that the Brevet fosters. I suppose the combination of these two emotions means we enjoyed it, and will probably be back!
Physically, we're all appropriately bruised and battered. Phil's achilies tendon is strained and damaged, Joel has some blood blisters on his hands and I've lost some feeling in some of my left hand. Add to this thousands of sandfly bites and 1100km in the legs and we're pretty tired, if on a massive endorphin high!
The terrain was beautiful and varied. It would be impossible to do it justice with flowery words or sweeping poetic descriptions, but hopefully photos will do it justice. It's the blessing of travelling by bike - to go so far, but to do it without detaching from the sense of adventure and achievement. Equally, we met some fantastic people along the road - fellow travelers or just friendly locals. Although we were very lucky with the weather, we still experienced a wide variety of conditions and plenty of challenges - from scorching climbs to foggy alpine descents.
So, what now? We've decided against touring back to Christchurch as everyone's a little too fatigued from the past few days. We'll get the bus back, and maybe do some of the mountain bike trails there - less epic perhaps, but possibly no less fun.