ActiveSteve Lands in Jail!

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14/03/08
Well, after over 4200km on the road, pedaling my little heart out, it’s over. I’ve also managed to realize another one of my dreams, which is to spend the night in jail. In fact, it looks like I’ll be spending 4 nights in jail in total for the crimes I’ve committed! Crimes you ask? Okay, I suppose I didn’t commit any real crimes, in fact, I’m paying to stay in jail. Yup, that’s right, I’m writing this blog post from my own cell at the Addington Jailhouse. This building functioned as a prison until the 1990’s, but is now a hostel. I booked it a few days ago to make sure they’d have room for me, as it is a pretty popular place now. In fact, they got 1st place for a BBH hostel this size in NZ, and were also awarded 2nd overall for all hostels in Oceania! Pretty impressive eh? And yes, it really looks like a jail, although a little more pleasant. They preserved one of the old cells as it was for comparison. I’m duly impressed, and happy to end off my cycling tour here. I booked one of the nicer rooms, a 4-bed share room, no bunks, which is double sized. For the rest of the details, please read on and check out the map.

The day started off as good as a person could really hope for to finish off their cycling tour. The weather was overcast once again, but it wasn’t raining, and it looked like it would just keep me cool for the duration of my short ride. My sleep in Springfield was fantastic, as I had an entire dorm room to myself once again, which allowed me the chance to curl up and have a decent sleep without distractions. However, even though I was all alone, I still woke up in the middle of the night for some unknown reason. I’m starting to look forward to sleeping in my own bed with no distractions whatsoever. However, that’s neither here nor there, is it, you’re probably just wondering about my ride.

Truthfully, there really isn’t all that much to say about the actual ride. It was less than 70km, and it was all downhill, which meant really easy pedalling and good speed. The countryside was farmland once again, flat and uninspiring all the way. Of course, I did have my one important stop of the day, which was in Sheffield for the pies. I left the hostel straight away in to morning, in order to be there in time for my breakfast. I got there before 9am, but the place was already hoppin’. I went in and picked out two pies for sampling. Butter Chicken for one, and Country Chicken for the other (chicken, bacon, garlic and mushroom), along with a cream donut and chocolate slice for lunch. I went outside and ate the butter chicken pie along with the cream pie. Outstanding!

I went back into the store to chat with the baker about his excellent pies for a little bit. Apparently, they sell about 100 dozen pies every day. Impressive I’d say, considering this place is literally in the middle of nowhere. He was of the opinion that I’d stand to make a killing if I opened up a pie shop in Ottawa. Now all I have to do is convince him to take me in as an apprentice. This fellow has been all around the world perfecting his craft, spending time in France and England in particular. All I can say is that it paid off handsomely, as his pastry was outstanding. Once that was out of the way, I had to hit the road once again, but with a full belly.

I had a smile on my face pretty much the entire day on the way, knowing that it would be my last long day in the saddle. I don’t know why, but it seemed that my butt hurt the most today of every day. I think it somehow knew that it would finally get a rest, so it decided to revolt a little bit. Before I even knew it, I was on the outskirts of Christchurch. All told, it only took a little over 3 hours to make it to Christchurch and to prison. Now I remember why I don’t care so much for big cities. Getting into the town centre was a pain in the ass, because of all the stupid traffic and drivers crowding me on the roads. However, I made it in spite of the snarls.

It was barely 1pm when I got to jail, but luckily, they were able to process my inmate number and assign me to a cell. Initially, I was in a dorm with 10 beds, but after seeing the 4-share room, I decided that I’d much rather that for my next 3 nights. Luckily, I’d gotten off to a good start with the reception staff, and they were able to accommodate me, as well as hook me up with two towels instead of the requisite one. That way I’ll have an extra towel for tomorrow for when I go to the hot springs at Hanmer Springs. When I first got into my new 4 share room, I was the only one there. However, upon return from the shower, half naked and wet, there was a lady in the room. It was Lindsay from Massachussetts, who was waiting to go pick up Becky from Delaware, arriving from Tahiti. They told me to write that by the way.

I first took a quick wander around town to first get my haircut, but not the beard (don’t worry Kevin), then to check into train tickets for the return trip to Auckland. However, the train station was closed already, at 3:30, so I’ll have to go online to try and book tickets. I’d do it in person tomorrow, but I’ve already booked my day trip tomorrow to Hanmer Springs, and then the day after to go to the Banks Peninsula, and Akaroa in particular. As it turns out, I may not even get to see all of Christchurch with all these side trips unfortunately. However, I will make it a point to make it out to the Botanic Gardens, which are supposed to be pretty good.

Anyway, I’m getting bored of trying to write a blog post, since it’s Friday night, and I’ve just finished my bike odyssey. I think it’s time that I did a little celebrating. Well, actually, I already started a little bit, as I had pint of Distinction Ale at the local Speights Ale House, in order to symbolically end the bike trip. Tonight, I’m planning to head out to the Sol District in order to check out some live Blues. Here’s hoping there’s something decent playing. So, I’ll leave you with that, and wish you well in your own adventures. Cheers!

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