Day 9 Hunterville to Marton, then the train to Wellington

today 47 km (some of which was running about in Marton) total 624 km.
Postscript about Hunterville – this town was really kind of strange (in part this impression could be the result of my weary state on arrival) but, like many small towns in the rural US, it seems to be suffering.  Half the businesses and many homes are for sale, and the Station Hotel was the only place with any business – loud and boisterous until 2am (so much for that extra sleep!).  Unfortunately, I ate elsewehere which was disappointing and this morning was told that the Station was the best feed in town (also the only place with anyone in it!).  Somehow the downtrodden-ness of the town, combined with trying to sleep while a loud party was going on in the bar (I just didn’t have the energy to join in as I wished I had!) put me in a bit of a funk.  Getting on the bike this morning changed all that though!
I started out of town back the way I came for a few km to avoid state highway 1.  The first bit was refreshing and pretty, but the next section – Mt. Curl road – was amazing!  A steep climb (for sure steeper than 12% in spots – I couldn’t say exactly how steep) leading to views of Ruapehu as denied me while I was close to her, and a long, easy foothill descent into Marton.  Mt. Curl road, for you Bay Area roadies, feels very much like Sierra in San Jose!  The ridge along which I rode at the top of the climb was glorious, green, and overlooking all the hills I had passed through yesterday.  A guy stopped at the top as I was snapping photos to chat and was super friendly, saying he had ridden up that hill “back in the day” and marveled at my doing it with the trailer.  Totally spectacular!

Marton itself is nothing to write home about.  Nonetheless, I was able to handle some banking chores and pick up some medicine I’ve needed. The station is all vandalized, covered in broken glass, outside of downtown, and strangely totally shut down.  My vision of sipping a latte while waiting for the train was vanquished so I ventured back into town to hold court at a little café.  All manner of people stopped to chat about the bike, the trip, and as usual, politics.  Lots of  people ask about Condaleeza Rice, GW, Obama – it’s remarkable really how dialed this part of the world is in American politics.  I suppose it’s the fault of the mass media, so I’ve been trying to better understand what’s going on in the transition from Labor to National party rule here resulting from their election that occurred the day after ours.
So now I’m sitting on the train which is 45 minutes behind schedule.  I’ll arrive in Wellington tonight and try to sort out plans for the coming week prior to the Queen Charlotte Track.  I also made calls home to wish Happy Thanksgiving.  This is really the hardest holiday at home for me to miss, and I feel very far away as I wiped sweat from by brow as Chandra described a snowball fight at Caledonia!
Anyway, a good ride and some nice chats with people have lifted the funk that was post-ride haze in Hunterville.  The stoke is back on and I’m looking forward to a couple days off the bike followed by more riding, leading to Christchurch.

2 thoughts on “Day 9 Hunterville to Marton, then the train to Wellington

  1. Hey Michael, I didn’t get to talk yesterday but just wanted to thank you for calling and say Happy Thanksgiving. A giant thank you for the updates on the blog. I was really getting stuck on the third day information. MG

  2. Hi Mom! Hopefully we can connect today or tomorrow via skype. Thanks for the comments – I really love hearing from you (and knowing someone is checking out the blog!)

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