Studholme/Waimate > Timaru > Geraldine > Ashburton > Dunsandel

18 Nov

Day 10 – 43.2 km/26.8 miles later…

Took off from Oamaru and headed up Highway 1, which I have been raging a majority of the way, and made it to Studholme in the Waimate area.  I found out here that there is a runner who completed his length-of-the-country foot journey the day I arrived to Studholme (Tuesday, November 8, 2011).  Here is the website if you are interested in checking out his purpose and  success: http://runningnz.co.nz/ .  It is certainly a legitimate reason and it’s good to know it can be done!

Day 11 – 49 km/26 miles later…

Landed to Timaru in the late afternoon after a pretty average day of running and met Mr. Trevor Bowan, who I found as a host on CouchSurfinig.org.  Trevor is a retired dairy farmer from the South Canterbury region who now spends his time traveling, hosting couchsurfers like myself, eating well, staying fit, and just having a good time with friends and family.  When I arrived he graciously treated me to a home-cooked meal and we sat and chatted for hours on end, until we were both exhausted and ready to keel over and fall into a slumber late in the evening.  A huge thanks to Trevor for letting me crash in his guest bedroom in a warm and soft bed and letting me stay indoors during a terrible day of rain.

Day 12 – Rest.  After cruising around Timaru for a bit I stopped into a coffee shop and met a chill dude, Rohan Bell, that informed me about this marathon crew known as the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team(http://www.srichinmoyraces.org/).  This is basically a organization based on the ideals of Sri Chinmoy, who was a large proponent of reaching enlightenment and self-transcendence through sports and fitness.  After spending numerous hours running I figured some meditation may be a good way to pass the time.  I have tried and asked some friends for some meditation help to get started (Here’s your shout out, Carrie Lynch!).  It has been chill thus far but I feel like I got a long ways to self-transcendence :-).  I will definitely contact the New Zealand chapter when I run through Auckland.

Huge thanks to Rohan for the chill conversation, telling me about Sri Chinmoy, and offering help as a contact for finding accommodation throughout my trip!

Day 13 – 35.9 km/22.3 miles later…

Geraldine!  I arrived the opening day of the Geraldine Arts and Plants Festival.  Geraldine is a town about 15 kms from the main 1 Highway between Timaru and Ashburton in the South Canterbury region.  This festival is the busiest time of the year in Geraldine and I was very fortunate to get in contact with Chris and Neroli Richardson, in time to reserve a sponsored bed in their successful backpackers hostel known as the Rawhiti House (http://www.rawhitibackpackers.co.nz/ ).  I arrived in the early afternoon and was given a warm welcome by my hosts.  They were very helpful and approachable, and showed a strong passion for making their guests feel comfortable.  Huge thanks to Chris and Neroli for generously accommodating me during a very busy time in Geraldine.

During my time in Geraldine I was at the local supermarket, getting some food for the next morning and I noticed a familiar face.  Turns out it was Katie Harant, a fellow South Hills High School graduate of 2004.  I haven’t been in touch with her for several years, but the chances of coming across someone from high school was too crazy to pass up the chance to reminisce.  Katie has been working in New Zealand for 7 months and happened to be working in a farm in the general area of Geraldine.  I was also very fortunate for I needed a place to stay between Ashburton and Christchurch, and the she had a contact on a farm house in Dunsadel that split the two destinations.  It was great to see her and we met for a drink the day after in Ashburton to catch up and have a great chat.  CRAZY HUH?!?

Day 14 – 51.7 km/32.1 miles later…

Ashburton was the next stop.  Ashburton was quite laid back for the day I arrived was Canterbury Day and nearly everything was closed, making the place seem pretty empty.  Nonetheless I was able to find somewhere to eat and a supermarket to resupply my food source.  I met up with Katie, had a chat and was off the next morning.  Big thanks to Howard and Carolie Andrew for sponsoring my night in Ashburton at the Rambler’s Rest Backpackers (http://www.ramblersrestashburton.com/).

Day 15 – 41.6 km/25.8 miles later…

Dunsandel: Thanks to Miss Katie Harant, I was able to stay on a farmhouse just outside the wee township of Dunsandel.  As I mentioned, I was desperately in need of a place to crash between Ashburton and Christchurch and luck/Katie came to the rescue.  She put me in touch with Rika and George and they let me crash their place for the evening.  Hearty food and lively conversation were in stock and it was a great time.  However, they both had to crash a bit early to get some sleep to get up at 4:30 AM to milk some cows.  So in their honor I, too, got up early and departed at 7:30 AM for the trip to Christchurch.

That’s all I got for now, but will get some more updates ready soon and posted as soon as I can.  Thanks for following and catch you all soon!

Big Cat

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