DAY SIXTY-FOUR

Today I woke up in a pretty foul mood. I think it's important for me to share transparently my thoughts and feelings, so that it's evident that I am NOT 100% happy, 100% of the time. No I'm not a constant stream of gratitude. And yes I do have my moments where I'm snappy, cranky, grumpy, and more or less moody. I had a crappy sleep in the camper van, woke up 3 times to pee, and had to squat in the field behind our van freezing my ass off, and we woke up to a cold and cloudy morning. To get water and to change into our kits we had to walk to the gas station, then I just in the camper van hiding from the cold, thinking gloomy thoughts not wanting to go outside. It's weird and unendingly intriguing to me the way our human mind works. Sometimes you just get into a funk and it's nothing in particular that gets you into that mood, its just every little thing together, and you just can't seem to get out of it. But after we decided to head out on our ride, I felt insanely better for just moving my body and getting a sweat on. We rode through the incredible mountain ranges south west of Christchurch, and even though I almost got lost, it was amazing! And holy shit, I have never seen so many cyclists in my life. The entire ride we were passing a never ending stream of cyclists, it was amazing to see such an active and thriving cycling community here in Christchurch. Although you'd think that having so many cyclists in the city would mean that the drivers would be accustomed to sharing the road with us, but NOPE. The drivers here, and in New Zealand in general are frighteningly and worryingly aggressive towards cyclists. We've had many sour encounters with the drivers here, but today one that really shook me was while we were descending down a steep ass climb. And a car overtook me with oncoming traffic, and he nearly clipped my side. I swerved left at the last minute but man that really got my heart pumping. Then this driver continued on and proceeded to do the exact same thing to Griff. Like wtf m8, calm down. Anyways after we were safe and sound back at our camper van, before changing, before putting our bikes down, before catching our breath, before anything... we got a bag of dates and ate it with tahini because... #priorities. lol, then our next mission was to find a place to shower. We went to a campsite first to see if we could just pay to use their showers... that was a no go. So then we went to a public pool, and just snuck into their showers! We are definitely learning to get resourceful and creative on this trip haha. After we were all clean and showered, we decided to run some errands. Griff needed trousers and pain killers, I needed sun glasses, and the boys both needed books. I've become obsessed with my book The Wise Man's Fear, so I've also concurrently become noticeably absent in all conversations, so they both decided they would join me in being a bookworm, and we could all read in silence together :) We also got heaps of bread, cookies, and hummus to bring to the XAMS VEG POTLUCK we're going to tonight! We heard about it through one of my followers who invited me and sent me the details! It was held at this beautiful lady's organic farm south of Christchurch. She was the sweetest most generous giving lady. She had snow white hair, a kind smile, and warm eyes, and when she talked to you, you just felt like she looked right into your soul and talked directly to YOU. Anyways, we drove to the potluck and got there early around 5, and the first thing that struck me was the crazy amounts of kids running around. This was really a family friendly event, they even went as far as to invite a santa to come, and tractor rides for the kids. It was such a refreshing change to see so many families at this potluck, and to be around the rejuvenating energy that children effortlessly possess. Their infectious energy soon had me smiling, and put a song in my throat and laughter back into my heart. And slowly as we crept up to around 6, more and more people came trickling in and with the people came even more food... hehe. By the time we brought out all the savoury food, everyone had just swarmed the table and were eyeing it like lions eye their prey. We were all looking, drooling, and waiting to POUNCE! ahah, and when the magical words came of "lets feast" we really did feast.

I had three heaping plates of the most incredible vegan food I've had in ages. Stews, curries, sausage rolls, egg sandwiches, pastas, potato pesto salads, dahls, deep fried sesame balls, "cheese" and bread, and maybe 1/10th a plate full of something green and healthy... but mostly I just ate lots of sausage rolls. YUM. Then after we were full to the brim... they brought out all the desserts. And man what a spread. Vegan ice cream, lemon loafs, christmas shortbread, brownies, chocolate cake, banana cakes, tahini chocolate slices, strawberry short bread cakes, meringues, tarts, and more. I literally tried one of each thing... and then ended up finishing half a litre of the ice cream because it was just gonna get thrown out... and I was NOT gonna see perfectly good soy ice cream go to waste. That would just be a sin in my eyes. So I came to the rescue and saved it from going to waste :) My incredibly full belly is proof of how amazing all the food was. Man I'm gonna be dreaming about those desserts for ages. But besides the food, it was just so much fun to be sitting outside on the grass, sharing good food with such wonderful people. I met so many interesting unique individuals tonight, and had so many wonderful conversations. One that was really impactful to me was talking to Steven about the principles from The book the Tao Te Ching. He was talking about how they emphasize how soft and flexible is more powerful than being hard and strong. And also the concept of doing without doing, or something along those lines. I'm probably butchering those two concepts but suffice it to say, I was most definitely intrigued and will definitely look into the Tao Te Ching in the future! Then after we all finished feasting, the weather suddenly turned, so we all hurried into the house, where there was a roaring fire crackling in the hearth. We all settled in drinking tea and continuing our conversations. Griff also delighted everyone by playing a few pieces on the piano! After another hour, we regretfully said our goodbyes and left to hit the road. We had decided to drive through the night to make our way down south towards Queenstown. But man, Christchurch was such an unexpected beautiful surprise, the vegan community is not only very present, but its thriving, active, and blooming! I'm so glad we're coming back through on our way back because I have not had my fill of it yet. I want to have more potlucks, explore more of the hills here, and meet more of the beautiful souls here. And now we're driving in the pitch black, through the rain, listening to Ed Sheeran in our PJ's. I'm happy. I really am. Man, what a difference a day can make, to compare how I felt from this morning to how I feel now is just like day and night, and I guess it literally is day and night... ahah. I was just in such an average mood this morning, but now after moving my body, eating some incredible food, and surrounding myself with beautiful people and beautiful energy I'm just flying high off of all the good vibes. Anyways, now we're en route to QUEENSTOWN! CANT WAIT!