Oh boy, where do I begin? For me the most poignant moment in the 2012 Olympics was the interview with Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter after they failed to win gold in the Olympics. Today I have a small insight into how they felt.
At the end of yesterday I had done 300 miles in 3.5 days – more or less on schedule but it has all been terribly hard work. Last night I spent much of the night throwing up before whatever bug I had caught worked its way further south if you get my meaning. I set off this morning and managed about 50 miles (thanks to NZ's excellent public lavatories that are in every small town) but simply couldn't go any further. To be honest, even before the stomach bug I was starting to feel that this was really too much like hard work – I have not had the time to stop and take in any of the sensational scenery and in the evenings I just crash. The prospect of falling 40 miles behind schedule so early in the trip was crushing. So I took a decision.
As I passed Hamilton I detoured to the airport and bought a one-way ticket to Wellington from where I write this entry. I am very embarrassed and bitterly disappointed but this is supposed to be a holiday. This has given me an afternoon's rest to recuperate and tomorrow morning I will get another few hours on the ferry to South Island – hopefully this will allow me to shake off the bug and I then have a relaxed schedule to enjoy the rest of the trip.
I think that, even at peak fitness, 17 consecutive 90 miles days with a full load and this terrain may be more than I can manage.
This is the first time I have ever failed in one of my challenges and I am taking it hard – where were you Knobby?
No photos and no jokes today; hopefully a good night's sleep and a brand new island to explore will help give me some perspective.