I feel somewhat bad for not giving Neil MacNeil more credit on my blog. He is one of the masterminds behind www.g-raff.co.nz and a former workmate of mine during my time working at Asia Pacific University in Japan. Neil has been a behind-the-scenes master of the universe with regards to keeping the 14degrees website up and running during my trip. At one particular time, the whole site got horribly hacked, and Neil came to the rescue.
Anyway, I was stoked to be able to travel to Neil’s place today in Upper Moutere to speak at the local primary school. After a slight debacle with the bus not being able to take my recumbent bike, I ended up having to borrow Heather’s car for the overnight excursion (thanks Heather!).
Driving for any decent distance since I left Japan two and a half years ago, the drive from Blenheim to Nelson was an interesting experience. Blenheim to Nelson, 128km, the sign declared. What felt like only minutes later, another sign claimed 100km to go. I felt like I was doing an astro-warp of some kind. Ah the wonders of modern technology.
I arrived in plenty of time in Upper Moutere to go for a walk with Neil and his two Italian sheepdogs…
The pair of dogs, the breed of which I forget, are the only ones in New Zealand, and of only a few pairs in the Southern Hemisphere.
I was also greeted by Neil’s wife Michelle and their family of young sons. Jack and Joe were a two and four year old dynamic duo, with Alfie the youngest still not quite sure what to make of the stranger in the house.