After being told by friends back in Australia that some people had collected their bikes from storage and off riding plus we were sick of paying excessive rates for daily non booked accommodation plus a hire car three times dearer at daily rates rather then the original pre booked rates we bit the bullet and got a taxi to PF Transport in Christchurch.
We rang Clint's number (the fourth time we had done this) and still no reply. However a voice did answer enquiring what we wanted.
We said here to collect motorcycles from the Get Routed shipment. A gentleman arrived and asked us to sign in. I had already done that as in reality it was now a week since the original expected delivery date.
He took us "öut back" and our two bikes were sitting still in the cradles. He had long since left so we set about untying the bikes and placing our luggage back on them. We did notice an Australian Ducati under a set of steps wondering had someone not arrived or was it a non goer?
We left the suitcases in the allocated space and worked out how to get back onto the main road and headed into Christchurch traffic bound for VTNZ. (vehicle Testing NZ where we were after NZ registration as a tourist import.
On arrivial we found our BACC (import papers) awaiting us and soon a tester had ridden off on one of the bikes.
We chattered, well they told us tales of woe from others on this shipment, while we waited for the WOF (Warrrant of Fitness) a precourser to registration.
My tester took the Sprint for a shakedown ride Z(the length of the driveway) then called me over "Sorry Sir we have a problem I need to pass your bike (they had already collected 6 monhs fees plus a WOF fee off me) but your bike has no brake lights, no indicators.
He then said I think it would be a fuse put A CUSTOMER SAFETY VEST on and come into the testing area. I located for him the fuse teminals and yes the fuse for the lights had blown since leaving PF Transport terminal. He even had a replacement plus spares (all free) and soon well 45mins later he was trying to find clear windscreen space for both a WOF sticker and the registration label (neither of which we use in Australia) however all stickered up we left. Well Jeffrey rode over to the service station to get fuel. I thumbed the starter and in true memories of Europe 2018 no response was forth coming. The friendly tester arrived with a jump pack and I joined Jeffrey & Laura well briefly as they come up to me to say our bike wont run on diesel.
No they didnt fill with diesel but that was all the servo had so I located a service station and left my bike running while they refuelled and we joined the traffic only to have a set o traffic lights that skipped a right hand turn arrow for three cycles so after idling for 15mins my Triumph said go or I will boil. I went and dumb drivers started to blow their horns,I had a green light but no green turn arrow never the less Jeffrey followed while Laura covered her eyes and prayed.
I had set a route inland via the 77 as we had driven the 1 South while sitting in Christchurch awaiting the bikes. The 77 is a rural road into the mountains that crosses a number of glacial fed rivers such as the Rakaia.
Lake Tekapo was a desired destination but by now the sun was inclined to call it quits and set, so we sourced a motel in Meheven and were soon dining at The Brown Pub with Billy two Shoes a Welsh Backpacker dealing with the joys of day One on the job. Laura wanted to take him home but Jeffrey resisted so we settled into a yarn session.
Billy comes from a small family farm in Southern Wales however being a strong young lad he played Rugby. Not just any Rugby but played on the Millemium Stadium field an d yes Greg he scored a try!
Next morning noting the tremendous scenery around every bend,we set off enjoying the blue lakes and fields of green as most of the countryside is irrigated for stock feed and silage.
Morning tea was a stop in Geraldine and also refuelling. During the stop we were asked how we were enjoying the trip. jeffrey replied "cant get a lamb chop" As we were leaving the lady thrust a package into our hands and as my luggage capacity was somewhat vacant (thanks John for leaving my much needed bike cover out) I placed it in the side pannier with the frozen water bottles.
Lake Tekopa and Lake Pukaki on the edge of the Ben Ohau Ranges made delightful photographic stops that soon saw the cameras in overload. We managed a chat with a local contractor ( a MC rider himself) before stopping off for afternoon tea in Twizel at The Musters Cafe which enabled a booking for a Farm Stay & bed Holiday cottage at Waimate almost on the Eastern Coast near Canterbury Bight.
Riding along I saw farm trayback parked on the wrong side of the road with a farm hand standing at the rear just seemed not quite right but I passed by and looking in the mirror I couldnt see the other bike.
I slowed and started to pull over when a car travelling in the same direction stopped beside me and yelled " Äccident one dead two injured best you go back its a bike!"
A quick check for traffic and the Triple screamed until it hit the rev limiter having worked in Emergency Services for over 40 years I am critically aware of the 3-4 minute life span. Seconds later as I neared the scene I noted the trayback off the road on the opposite side of the road again pointing in the wrong direction. It looked like he had done a u turn across traffic, the driver was looking at the back of his vehicle.
Then I saw a bike still upright heading away from me, had I got there that quickly? Yes.
Jeffrey & Laura were still on their bike with some blood evident along with what appeared to be stomach contents.
The farm hand arrived and immediately started yelling and screaming like a pork chop, no Sorry or are you ok. "You have killed one of my $100 sheep, he yelled"
He then jumped into his vehicle and drove flat out away from us still on the wrong side of the road verging between roadway and the side of the road.
Luck was with jeffrey & Laura as the sheep had hit the footpeg killing it instantly but more importantly the front and rear wheels were untouched allowing Jeffrey to stay up right.
Two badly bruised and swollen ankles are yet to return to normal.
That night we were so glad to have that package for tea as riding wasnt a prime consideration and our Farm Stay was out of any town.
While they rested I prepared dinner.
Yes lamb chops ( sweet revenge)