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Brodrick Pass

Brodrick Pass: Day 00 Report

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You always start with the best of intentions, and in your mind you have an idea of how it is all going play out or at least there is an expectation of a start, a finish, and a space in between filled with moments. Moments you hope you won’t be able to forget, moments you hope will, on some extra-special level, turn into memories. Because that’s what this is all about, creating memories, and the moment is the setup—ignition, bang—the tiny snowball setting off down the hill. Life is full of moments, in fact that’s all it’s full of, but we are here for the memories, the standouts, the best of the best, and past experience says if you look at maps, make plans, buy tickets, set the rally point, tell your friends, kiss your person, pack your bags, and get on a plane, memories are bound to happen, that’s just how it works.

During our flight to New Zealand we lost a day and it’s not coming back. Buh-bye. This means my year is one day shorter; I am aging faster, but at least my hourly goes up. It was on our flight, while we were accelerating towards old age, that we first noticed familiar concepts were not precisely translated in the Kiwi dialect. Economy Plus on Air New Zealand actually means you sit closer to the seat in front of you than in normal Economy, the “Plus” in this case being that you are given the opportunity to become much more intimate with the aggressively reclining seat in front of you. And the differences don’t stop there, upon landing we learned that in New Zealand summer doesn’t exactly mean “t-shirts, shorts, and slides” like it does back home, as we would come to find out the sun would be notably absent throughout most of our trip, like a reclusive tycoon who throws parties but chooses not to attend. Not that this dampened our spirits, I mean it did, a little, but we were in New Zealand, halfway around the world about to ride across the country. We built our bikes in the motel parking lot, ate Indian food ordered “English Hot” and waited to meet our guide who, if you remember yesterday’s post, we met through the internet. You know, how some people meet their husbands or wives. We hoped he wasn’t a bot.

Motel on Carroll

 

Our first-ever parking lot cum bike shop.
Notably absent from The Motel on Carroll’s web reviews is any mention of their luscious parking lot grotto. This handy little parking lot corner has an undeniable South Seas sentimentality; think Gauguin meets 1986 Phuket, and it provides the traveling bike-packer with the ideal setting for building up bikes, as there is plenty of room for cars to squeeze by on their way in and out of the lot, creating an ideal “no rush” vibe.
When you have a huge cardboard box that weighs as much as a large-sized dog being held together with duct tape and a dream you should expect that Covenant Aviation Security will randomly select your carefully packed box for inspection. You should also expect that they will employ the “Dump it all out and shove it back in” technique, the baseline security inspection technique utilized by airport security personnel the world round.
Water and Knives. If we were better outdoorsmen, like top-tier, highest-level, kin-to-the-natives, penis gourd wearing sons of the earth we would probably be able to pack just these two things. We aren’t, but we are at least smart enough to know it.
Gotta get that Motel on Carroll grotto vanity pic.

The Dare Room

 

Another feature of The Motel on Carroll that is notably absent from their online web reviews is any mention of the “Dare Rooms.”
Each hotel room had a separated bedroom with a built-in “peek-a-boo” window. Of course, if you get a couple of Leo’s separated by only eighteen days on God’s Green Earth and the dares will escalate quickly!
That eye color? Yeah, that’s Excelsior Blue. Its undeniably captivating. We totally understand if you want to paint your cars, your home, and your babies that color.
An eyespot (sometimes ocellus) is an eye-like marking. They are found on butterflies, reptiles, felids, birds and fish.
Benedict Wheeler, @ultraromance, aka Poppi, aka Club Macho, is a physical scientist, physical specimen, global hobo, yogurt aficionado, and heartthrob. Typical quote, “Hi I’m Benedict Wheeler and I give people the best days of their lives.” He has a degree in something to do with health and nutrition. Seen here is a healthy selection of his camp meals, non-native Kamara, freshly baked and ready to provide macho nourishment for the duration of our expedition or until they are pulverized in his handlebar bag.
Daniel spent a large amount of our pre-flight day hunting down this pair of Nike slides to take on our expedition. NOTE: If you do not have a pair of SLIDES for your next bike packing trip, you are missing out! These little babies were the envy of the entire crew, as Daniel would parade around tramping huts and emergency bivouacs alike in these OH SO EASY and OH SO COMFORTABLE, lightweight and simple footwear items.

On Dunedin: God, Commerce, and a Muddy Reality

By Dr. Rosara Joseph*

Danseys Pass Inn is the last standing evidence of the once bustling community at the Kyeburn Diggings. It was the old coach inn, hosting wagon trains plying trade between the Waitaki Basin and Central Otago gold fields. Danseys Pass was named after William Heywood Dansey, a North Otago run holder who was with three others on an expedition over the Pass into Central Otago in 1855-56.

The Inn was built in 1862, one year after gold was first found in the Upper Kyeburn by a prospector named Leggatt. The original stonework was done by a mason known as “Happy Bill”. Bill was paid in beer – he received one pint for every schist boulder shaped and laid.

The Mount Ida Chronicle in 1870 listed the business places at the Kyeburn diggings as three hotels, three stores, one butchery, and one bakery. And, unofficially, six unlicensed grog shanties. The gold miners on those diggings subscribed to the work hard, party harder ethic. After hours of shoveling, sluicing, and scouring for golden flakes and nuggets, miners would take advantage of those six grog shanties and imbibed freely, which was known as “getting on the spree”. Gambling, brawls, dog-fights, and pig-hunting were the other principal amusements.

The Kyeburn diggings also housed a large Chinese community; one report in 1880 estimated that there were 600 Chinese working on the diggings. The Chinese miners tended to stay separate from the rest of the mining community; their appearance, dress, language, and use of opium set them apart from the rest. The Otago provincial government encouraged Chinese miners, mainly from the Guangdong province in southern China, to come to New Zealand to replace the European miners who had deserted the Otago fields by 1866 for new rushes on the West Coast. Their mining methods were unique: as they had on the Californian and Australian goldfields the Chinese miners preferred to rework abandoned claims as there was known gold there and they knew that much gold was lost in the washing up by the more haphazard European miners.

*Rosara Joseph has both law and history degrees from the University of Canterbury, NZ, she then went on to gain her masters and PhD in constitutional law and history at Oxford university as a Rhodes Scholar. Her erudition applies to the physical arts as well. She raced Cross-Country mountain bikes professionally for eight years, representing New Zealand at the World Championships and the Beijing Olympics before “seeing the light and taking up Enduro” where she competed and podiumed in the Enduro World Series (EWS). She aslo introduced us to Paul Smith, our spirit/physical guide while we were in New Zealand, and when we asked her to help us put together some brief histories related to our trip her response was simply, “I love this shit!”

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