No bluffing….this is the end!

Invercargill is crawling with journalists. They jump out of the bushes and catch you when your guard is down. Then I discovered there is a school of journalism in the local Polytechnic, SIT (Southland Institute of Technology), and all the students are out there hungry for a good story.

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Before I set off to complete the final 30km to my destination, I had an appointment at the studios of Cue TV (www.cuetv.co.nz) where I was interviewed by Margot Sutherland, and then followed by a cameraman for some action shots on the road to Bluff. Didn’t know whether to wave at the camera or simply look as if I was suffering with the strenuous effort…… chose the latter ‘cos I didn’t want people to think I was actually enjoying myself!

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So I eventually get to Bluff (the Land’s End of NZ) expecting to quietly take a few photos and then disappear to Stewart Island. But no……my gracious hosts in Invercargill, Marie, Bryan and Cecily, had made the journey down to be my welcoming party, and to join the little celebration of my completion of the journey.

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No sooner had the ritual photos been taken, but another journalist jumped from behind a bush clasping his voice recorder. He was a radio presenter from MoreFM, he rattled off a number of questions for which (of course) I had well rehearsed answers, then he amiably questioned the distance I had covered. Unlike the sign on my bike, the signpost said that Cape Reinga was only 1400km away, not the nearly 3000km I had covered. I politely pointed out that 1400km is as the crow flies, and that NZ roads were never designed for avian migration…….and anyway, why would anyone want to take the shortest route? For me, there were too many fascinating diversions.

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If you look carefully, you might see that London is over 18000km away……but again, that’s for the crows. But they generally don’t stop off in Singapore to re-fuel.

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I am now on Stewart Island, a one hour high speed catamaran journey from the mainland, ready to spend 36 hours chilling out and eating a bit more of the above.
But let me finish with a few more examples of Kiwi generosity: a couple overtook me on the road to Bluff, pulled over and donated $10; a gentleman gave me another $10 as I was having photos taken beneath the signposts; on Stewart Island, as I was trying to negotiate a discount on my pitch for 2 nights, David (who was accompanying a group of deer hunters) stepped forward and paid my $40 bill as a donation. Only in New Zealand………..
When I get to Australia, I’ll tell all the Aussies just how generous the Kiwis have been……..and they’ll all be so hopping mad that their hands will inexplicably go deeper into their pockets and purses :0) Wouldn’t that be great for the Children in Syria Appeal?
http://www.justgiving.com/Frank-Burns1

About Frank Burns

My journeys around the world are less about riding a bicycle, and more about what happens when I get off the bicycle. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on February 22, 2013, in New Zealand End-to-End 3000kms and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 29 Comments.

  1. Dearest Frank….I can hardly believe that you’ve finished the Marathon trip, in soooo short a time….and with the very best of daily updates for me and all those of us who languish at home, safe in our little cosy dwellings in Engelond. Well done, you! And thanks for the stories shared, and the glorious photos. It as been for me a real treat. Look forward to seeing you back “home”….. although clearly the whole world is now your home, and all it’s inhabitants your neighbours. Love and peace, etc., Caroline

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  2. To be Frank, Frank, I am full of admiration for your remarkable exploit. Especially so because you too are a senior citizen and your energy and stamina should, and I hope will, stimulate us all to greater things. Well done – a fantastic performance and also a magnificent boost to Save the Children funds and support for their work in Syria. Look forward to your return to Kimbolton.
    The other Frank

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  3. Thanks Caroline. Those are uplifting thoughts, and I appreciate them very much.

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  4. Thanks Frank (the other)….it has all been a lot of fun, and just helps us add our grain of sand on behalf of the Children in Syria.

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  5. Congratulations on your finish – what a ride!

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  6. Your comment regarding the competitiveness do the Australians and New Zealander will certainly work to your benefit.
    Congrats on completing such a huge journey by bike. Looking forward to catching up with you in Metung.

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  7. Hi Frank. Well done! What an amazing journey so far! Enjoy your well deserved short break before embarking on your Aussie leg. Denise

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  8. Me too, Heather. And thank you for making me so welcome.

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  9. Absolutely amazing!! Very well done Frank! We are full of admiration for you and thankful that you have managed to complete the journey without any insurmountable problems. Now we hope you really enjoy Australia and we look forward to having you home soon.
    Jane and Maurice

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  10. Wow, tempus fugit! Or was the wind behind you all the way? Well done! Looking forward to reading about your adventures in Aus. Love you!

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  11. Well done Frank…proud of you, mate.

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  12. So many puns. Must. Resist!
    Looks beautiful! This really is an inspiring trip. Congrats on getting so far.

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  13. Frank, congratulations on a job well done! Enjoy your short rest and good luck on the next phase! When does your Round-The-World Trip start?

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  14. Thanks Denise. Will be following some of your tracks in Oz soon!

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  15. Thank you both, Jane & Maurice. Cycling in Oz is going to be quite a contrast.

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  16. Thanks Rachael! It’s been a great adventure.

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  17. Margaret Butterfield

    Congratulations and well done – some achievement. What an example to us all. I had no idea you were going to continue in Australia. Good luck with that.
    Margaret

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  18. Thanks Margaret. Australia is another exciting opportunity, which I’m looking forward to.

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  19. Ha! Aaron, let all the puns rip! Thanks for the comment.

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  20. Good question, Drew. Not sure there is an answer……But thank you for all the encouragement.

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  21. It’s already a round the world trip isn’t it?

    You only need to do USA coast to coast and that’ll be job done. Only :-).

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  22. Ha, Keith……that’s a simple calculation that I rather like!

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  23. Frank. Huge congratulations on your incredible marathon of cycling. I canoed 91km this weekend down the Wanganui River and though that was good. That puts me to shame. What an amazing achievement. Im so pleased that you have experienced the kiwi lifestyle and generosity. It is a truly amazing country and you will have seen that for yourself. Sorry we weren’t able to meet up. Enjoy the rest of your trip.

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  24. Thanks for that Helen. Personally I’d rather ride my bike than paddle a canoe…..well done you!
    The Whanganui branch of Save the Children tried to link up with me, but we missed each other. However, they made a generous contribution to the cause via the website. If you could check them out for me and extend my thanks, that would be great.
    Hope the interviews went well.

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  25. Fascinating accounts of your travels in NZ, Frank. As for Day 1 in Oz, no surprise that Kimbolton figured in your life once again. OKs (and their parents) pop up in the most unexpected places. Looking forward to your Tales from Oz. There must be a book in all this. Much respect.
    Roger Davies

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  26. Thanks Roger! You’re not the first to drop a broad hint about a book…….hmmm:0)

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  27. What next Frank a book a film, they have made many
    films about far less, l do not know how you do it, fantastic, looking forward to seeing you both soon.

    Love Kim and Sue.

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  28. Thank you both, Kim & Sue!

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