Feeling a bit groggy and grumpy from being on the go so much, Carlos and I both decided that today would best be spent as a beach day. Lucky for us, we were in New Zealand’s sunniest area along the Tasman Sea. Our long, dark drive the night before had paid off because we were on a beach when we woke up and after fueling up in the nearest town (Motueka) we didn’t have too much farther to drive before rolling out our beach towels at the lovely beach of Kaiteriteri. Besides a campground, there was nothing else in this “town” so we had no distractions except the looming dock floating about 100 meters out in the Sea. It’s worth noting because when I see a dock I immediately imagine swimming over and sunbathing with a birds eye view of the shore. But Carlos probably has a different perspective.
He posted not long ago about our Blue Dragon mountain bike race. That was a tough one for me– super fun– but tough. And he was right to call me a trooper because I simply don’t have the MTB skills that he has. So when I see a dock worth swimming to on a beautiful beach in New Zealand, I not only think that I want to swim out to it, but I also want a little payback for the challenge that he presents every time we go on a ride together. Carlos will be the first to say he is no water baby but he is determined and stubborn. After a bit of frolicking on the shore, I challenged him to swim with me out to the floating dock. This would have been the farthest he has ever swam, by a long shot. He gave me a look that said “I hate you” and I smiled “tough love, babe” and then we got to it.
I coached him the whole way and when we climbed up onto the dock several minutes later I wasn’t sure if he was freaking out more from the cold or the shock that he actually made it. And it’s a good thing I pushed him along because not long after we were back on shore warming up, a crowd of screaming ladies drew attention to a little black shark! Woops! I might have pushed the envelope by getting Carlos out on that swim… just don’t tell his mother.
We hit the road for the afternoon and stopped at a couple of Nelson wineries en route to Saint Arnaud. This time we found a perfect camp spot on the lake with plenty of time to make dinner and watch the sunset. Now we’re getting it.