I’ve done just over 4500km by this point since buying the bike and it’s time for an oil change. I opt for a new filter too. I had called the shop from George’s house and they said it would be there by midday. The courier picks it up and takes it straight past the motorbike shop onto another job. This causes a 3 hour delay I could have done without.
Today is another mega miles KILOMETRES day so there will be no hanging around. This means that photos are a little scarce of the drive but I get a few.
The landscape changed dramatically over the course of today. First it was flat as a pancake, American grid pattern roads through Christchurch. The longest straight road I have ever seen stretched into the distance, further than you could make out any detail. This must be where truck drivers have a sleep enroute to their next stop, just fix the throttle and jam the steering and you would be fine for at least 15kms, arrow straight. Turning a corner into the end of a wide shallow valley, there are irrigation sprinklers sprouting from the ground every 50 metres. The cows must think this life sucks, it is ALWAYS raining for them. The terrain goes from artificially green rolling Yorkshire hills to naturally green and rocky Scottish mountains. Getting bigger and more twisty the road must be following the river back to its trickling source high up in the mountains.
The air noticibly changes quality over the mountain, getting warmer to the point of having to stop and remove my jumper. I’m running low on fuel and my credit card isn’t accepted by the automatic pumps. I have to hang around till a kind couple turn up and I can give them cash for use of their credit card. Refuelled, its a last dash to Nelson to find Grahams house on a hill. Unluckily I’m traveling east for the approach to Nelson. I only realise the glorious sunset behind me in my tiny vibrating mirrors. This sunset will not get the attention it desires unfortunatly.
Oh, I forgot to mention, George had a late start this morning so he went for a run. After a shower, he came out in his pilots uniform looking like Tom Cruise! Short, muscular, white shirt, captains hat (nearly). All he needed was a pair of aviator glasses and a 1980’s sports bike to complete the look.