2. Invercargill

Sunday, February 12: Some rain in the early morning, windy & overcast

Swimming: 1600 m
Walking: 13.8 km


Sleep was more like napping for two hours a go, until about 5:00 when the mode changed to dozing. In any case I was up just after 7:00 when Randa & Gonsalo were finishing breakfast. I was introduced to the kitchen and got hold of some cornflakes, coffee & toast. Gonsalo was on his way to Queenstown for a couple of days and left soon after. Randa started on her story – at least in the brief version – and I was able to start walking on the way to the swimming pool for what I hoped was pool practice with the local kayak club. Was greeted every now & then by joggers, and just before reaching the pool asked a passerby where exactly it was, and was directed to it, not far away, but not where I thought it was. Paid about $4.5 (which would have been for a senior!), went into the building, waited around for the kayak people to turn up, asked around every once in a while, admired the boats, went back to the reception & asked to call them to see what they were up to as it was passed the time they had told me they were starting at. The session had been cancelled, pity they hadn’t told me anything about it.

Time for some swimming. Changed into my togs & chose the slow lane (half pool length) for some rounds. Eventually made it to the distance by about 11:00, all very much under control with no sign of cramping. Considered whether to go on to 2.0 km, but decided against it for now and exited bum first from the pool, which triggered a massive left calf event. Lay at the side of the pool trying to recover but every time I tried to stand the thing went off again. Eventually asked a life guard to help me up. She went & procured me a cup of water & after a couple of minutes in the vertical was able to take her advice and get into the spa pool for a bit to see if that would help. In general the pool was cooler than my usual training venue, but the going had actually been quite good.

Decided that I could attempt to walk back home via Countdown. The aim here was to see about buying some larger packs of stuff that have to be broken up before being transported to Stewart Island to avoid transferring everything there (too much) and some (unused) stuff back again. Managed to get some margarine (package sizes! Very little as 250 g – most 375/400/500 g), Nescafe refill (100 g), condensed milk (might be difficult to obtain in the small Four Square in Oban), & a pie for lunch (Westie cheese & mince, reasonable quality, $1.6). Still undecided about eggs, but managed to determine that Uncle Ben’s bags were 4 * 125 g, which would mean taking four packs of instant noodles with me to pair them up. The Countdown variety had garlic in it, but have since discovered a pack here without, so will take off soon to Pak’n’save to see whether they have them (yellow & red package).

Had the pie here, looked to see what the hostel in Oban has on offer in terms of breakfast/coffee and will begin to plan shopping in Oban when I’m back. Had gotten some washing done and the stuff is now drying on the line, and I have a blister on the left foot that has to be burst, as well as some toenails that need to be trimmed.

Went down to Pak’n’save and they had the instant noodles so I can separate out four packs. Also some peaches and a soft drink. Back here Randa arrived with all of her shopping, including a rather expensive-looking new fat-free vegetable fryer-stirrer that was later tried out. This was followed by the arrival of her builder friend, Joe, and they discussed home improvements for a while. Randa had said she was sending off some applications so I offered to read through them for her. In the meantime I sent off a reply to Michael about the new (or forgotten) procedure for an orange alert, which is to send for 30 minutes, turn off & on again and press the ‘track’ button. With that I sent a spot OK. Also put through a last ditch attempt at finding a paddling partner to the hostel in Oban, before it was Randa’s time to go over her cover letters & cv. Managed to find a couple of typos, a few word choices that could be improved, and gave her a lesson in and-but-therefore. She then started vacuuming and otherwise cleaning the house while I reheated yesterday’s fried rice for dinner, and then with nothing better to do found a more or less comfortable rock in the garden to sit on to puncture the two blood blisters on the left foot, which drained fairly well. Not anything to do on the track on Stewart Island.