DSC00563-800x53380% of today’s ride was up and although the gradient was kind, the k-i-n-d-n-e-s-s were long stretches.

And we were smart. The extra day in Hope allowed for us to organise posting 6 kgs worth of stuff to New York for pick up on our way home; biffing a couple of kgs worth of ‘let go stuff’; and for us to organise the bike trailer, bike trailer bag, and an additional pack full of heaviness be transported up to the place we booked into – Manning Park Resort – an additional 32 kgs worth. This is Kiwi Minimalism at it’s finest.

Staying at a resort sounds poncy, however, it was a ski one and inbetween seasons and therefore makes the comforts affordable versus sleeping with the wildlife monsters. More importantly, the bath is a cyclists companion when you are pushing the body to it’s limits. Unfortunately, it was not a tandem bath meaning a toss of the coin to get first dibs. Age has no advantage in this adventure!

Have you ever met someone who is 22 years of age and never ever seen the sea, let alone swim in it? Her name was Brittney and hailed from central Canada. She had migrated to the resort to work and as yet, hadn’t even traveled as far as Hope. Her innocent conversation asking questions about what we take for granted was a reminder not to take our slice of paradise down under for granted.

DSC00564-800x533And that would be the same for what we rode today. We got to see her landscape paradise in it’s raw beauty. The smell of trees; the sound of water flowing; the coolness of altitude; the view of peaks; the sight of deer feeding. It far outweighed the taste of sweat shed.

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Gradient gratefulness guaranteed.