Photo (c) Wynston Cooper 2014
Today's schedule required us to travel almost 40km so it was decided to bike it rather than walk. Riding at a leisurely pace and stopping somewhere for lunch should see us there by 2.00, at least that was the theory. At Fairlight Phil's pedal fell off. So, rather than have him finish the day as a passenger in the support vehicle we decided to walk the last 12 km.
Much of the riding section of the day was spent on the cycleway, which is not entirely finished but with one or two diversions because of non existent bridges - and for one small piece, non existent cycleway - it was perfectly manageable. At Athol we stopped to visit St. Bartholomew's church. This pretty little building looks and feels loved. It is clean and uncluttered and is one of the few churches around which is permanently open and yet remains unmolested by vandals or thieves. It is a holy and whole place. Sadly, it is one of our places of worship whose future is doubtful because there are not a lot of people who use it anymore. Perhaps its role as a wayside chapel is enough justification to keep it. Perhaps. The use of such buildings is a huge issue we face as a diocese and there is no obvious solution to it in this case or in perhaps a dozen others.
Just down the road at the Lazybones cafe we met Carol who runs the cafe and cleans the church. The cafe is on the market, because for Carol and her husband 8 years of keeping it open for 7 days a week is just about enough. The Lazybones is filled with homecrafts for sale and a huge collection of old toys. It's a pleasant place to visit and the coffee is good. Sooner or later it will sell, and the congregation of St. Bartholomews will drop again.
At Garston we made sandwiches in the park and took photos under the sign proclaiming it to be the most landlocked town in New Zealand. Then it was on to Fairlight.
We walked to Kingston on the cycleway, but after a few km switched to the main road because it looked like it might be shorter. The road ran straight for most of the way but the sheer grandeur of the scenery stopped any sense of boredom. It was a fine, clear day, and the lake, when we trudged up to it around 4:00 pm was a translucent turquoise. Kingston on a day like today is very beautiful indeed though people tell me the winds can be pretty ferocious. Still, I couldn't help looking at some of the places with "for sale" signs up and wondering if we could run to it. Walking the last mile to the jetty we met a pleasant woman who turned out to be the editor of the local news sheet. She took a photo and some notes for a story and was mighty interested to learn that the Archbishop of York was going to be in town tomorrow.
So now we are safely billeted for the night. We have , again, been generously catered for, and met some very interesting people. The weather map looks settled for our trip up the lake and I'm looking forward to seeing the Crown Range from the air.