Lake Hawea to Arrowtown
Distance 78km. Ascent 1056m. No pies.
The Lake Hawea Family Fishing Classic got off to an early start with the sound of vehicles towing boats down to the launch ramp, waking me before 6am. Crews had been arriving all the previous evening from far and wide for this auspicious occasion. Unfortunately, my tent's sound proof qualities leave a lot to be desired. At least there no mosquitoes buzzing around.
While I was slowly packing up, a young Filipino man wandered up, interested in what I was doing. He is a builder in Auckland and is looking at relocating down to this area. Work and accommodation seemed to be the issues. We had a pleasant conversation as I was in no rush to get away. The boat from Queenstown across the lake leaves daily at 12 & 2pm so I'm having an easier day and riding to Wanaka then over the 1076m Crown Range to stay in Arrowtown, catching the boat the next day.
Despite the distance I cycled yesterday, my legs feel fine so I make the 25km to Wanaka in good time. There is a cool breeze off the lake that encourages me to look for a sheltered place to snack. I chat to the bike hire rep who laments the lack of custom, only 5 rentals this morning in their peak season. The guiding company she also works for has no work at all. This is a story I'm hearing everywhere. The supermarket in Haast was poorly stocked for the same reason.
No point procrastinating, I have over 700m of climbing ahead of me and sitting chatting wasn't getting it done. As I slowly gained altitude I reflected on those people I know who inspire others and the nature of this inspiration. Now there is a difference I decided, between being inspired and being impressed. You may be impressed that I rode up such a big hill, but you probably aren't inspired to do anything in the light of this feat. Inspiration, I decided, leads to some form of action.
I may read a great book or listen to an interesting podcast and if you're the church going type, listen to a moving sermon but none of these things are inspiring unless I'm moved to some form of action or change of thinking, they will only have been impressive and will pass.
The problem with impressing people is that the motivation to impress can become a driving force in our life and we can end up as a show-off, looking for praise & recognition in all we do and we ultimately become slaves to those whose opinion we so desperately craved.
So I hope this ride does not just impress you, but inspire you. Many have been inspired to give, to encourage, to pray. I hope the stories I relate encourage you to engage with others or maybe get on your bike or plan some milder form of adventure. I think it is good to ask ourselves, do I inspire or impress?
At 1000m any wind is cool so as I crested the top I quickly donned vest & merino beanie. Following the obligatory photos and testing of the brakes I launched enthusiastically downhill taking full advantage of gravity. My sweat soaked shirt quickly cooled me, but also dried and the air temperature rose as I lost altitude. This side seems steeper than the other. Utilising a gravel side road soon had me in Arrowtown mid afternoon and to my accommodation.
On checking my messages I discover Dale, Capernwray's South Island rep passed me as I laboured up the Crown Range. He's having a father/son weekend over here and 'how about we catch up for a famous Ferg-burger in Queenstown?' I'm trying not to use the phrase "Is the Pope Catholic?' to expressive a strong affirmative, but it springs to mind at the offer to visit this iconic eating establishment. He duly picks me up for a pleasant catch up in town with our driver for the evening, Justice, his son.
I am told that usually there is a long line just to order but nowadays we were able to get ours in straight away. A quick grocery shop on the way back supplied me for whatever tomorrow may bring.