Faced with a choice of routes to take, sometimes it’s easy – if it’s between gravel and pavement, I’ll take pavement. But if it’s between harder and easier routes, then it’s more complicated – I don’t want to struggle more than I have to, but at the same time I want to stay as close to the TA route as I can. Today was one of those days: TA pointed one way, Google the other. I chose TA and wasn’t disappointed. Although the first 15-20km weren’t easy, the rest of the way, through Mangaone Valley, had few uphills and was shielded from the wind.

Maybe the roads are easier or maybe I got fitter, but in the last few days I’ve been “overachieving”, doing more than 100km a day. It was the same story today: I got 40km further than planned. I wasn’t even too tired when I arrived in Masterton.
It’s been almost four weeks since I arrived in New Zealand but I have yet to see a kiwi bird. That is, until today: when I stopped at Eketahuna, there were not one but two of them. Both giant in size, one was a sculpture, another a mural. As for the real one, unless I go to a zoo, I am afraid I won’t see it. For good mesure, I bought some kiwi fruits to round up my Kiwi experience.

Today in numbers:

118 km – distance cycled
5 – recognized species of Kiwi birds, four of which are currently listed as vulnerable and one as near-threatened