“We could make the 9.10 am ferry if we pushed it” was the statement. It was just on 7.30 am and we only had 31 kms to cycle.
The original plan was to catch the 1.30 pm ferry. Something kicked in and we were off powering it. Until the first incline where we started to question why were we rushing? What was the matter with the old plan? Jeepers, the barns look mighty fine today for a picture so we should be stopping to snap them.
Up hill started to instill self doubt that we didn’t have it in us to do it. We were heading south too which meant getting closer to the equator! The first time humidity opened up the sweat pores and beads trickled down sides of faces and back spines. Keep pedaling. We can do it.
The closer we got to South Baymouth, on-coming traffic indicated that the ferry had berthed; it was 8.50 am and we had 5 kms still to go. There was no stopping to rest the legs and butts; no banana or muselie bar.
Have I mentioned the head wind was a bastard yet? It too tested our resilience.
Our friend Ken left after us and usually steams passed us. But not this race. And as we tied a knot on the bike against a pillar in the hold of the ferry, Ken too rode on-board. He was no sooner off his bike and the sound of the gang-way bridge and ferry doors began the departure ritual.
It was 9.10 am and we had made it.
We had made it.
The ferry ride took just over two hours. It too took on the white caps from the head wind whipping across Lake Huron. We disembarked in Tobermory which was also our end destination today. We now had time on our side after the morning tour de Manitoulin because our accommodation wasn’t going to be ready until mid-afternoon.
It only took two corners to decide what to do to fill in some time. It was a sign. ‘All you can eat fish and chips for $14.95’. And so we gave it a nudge … seven fillets and two scoops each!!!!! A different kind of resilience. Fail!
However, this lovely little lake side harbour township attracted heaps of looks and salutations with more gazes of bewilderment at both the tandem rig set up and the journey itinerary.
Furthermore, there is no comparison between Tobermory and two sea-side towns on the West Coast of the South Island – Hokitika and Haast. This chap approached us with his dog to converse. Fabio Corvaglia was a Primary School Teacher and had lived in both places between 1992 and 1994.
It was an enjoyable exchange of words: he remembers that everyone was called by their nick-names – Shorty the Cray Fisherman and Dif the Mechanic. His postal address was Fabio, Haast, New Zealand and he always received his mail. In Canada, you ask for a pitcher of beer – when he asked for that at a Hokitika pub, the barman drew a picture of a beer!
I asked what he missed about New Zealand. The people which was quickly followed up by ‘meat pies’.
We sympathized with Fabio. About the meat pies. And the people naturally.
But let us say the feed of fish and chips evaporated any aspect of meat pie cravings whatsoever.
We made the 9.10 am ferry.
The push was well worth it.