Every time I say WHY NOT to an adventure, I record One thing a day I smell, hear, taste and touch.

Below is my sensory diary for the Triple F Challenge – Fun, fitness and fellowship cycling along the Otago Rail Trail with Rural Women NZ which Ron and I did at the weekend.

People often ask me “what do you see Julie?” to which I always reply, “Nothing, instead I smell, hear, taste and touch” my way through the world. But doing the Central Otago Rail Trail on the tandem at the weekend, I saw something else. I saw a pioneering vision that took me back to a conversation in history that I imagine would have gone something like this:

“Why don’t we put a railway track through to Central Otago?”

“Are you mad?”

“NO, I’m not. Wouldn’t it be great to commute people from Dunedin, right around Central Otago and bring the orchard fruit to market.”

“But won’t it cost too much?”

“WE’ll get funding.”

“and we’ll make it work!”

And make it work they did. Somebody, somewhere, had that vision and at the weekend, I was lucky enough to see it too!

And here’s what else I saw with my fingers, ears, nose and mouth!

Friday April 17, 2015

Clyde to Lauder

Smell: fresh NZ country air

Hear: baaing sheep! (thanks to Ron for the pic)

Taste: NZ lamb at the Becks Hall for dinner at night

Touch: bumpity bumpity bump of the bridges along the trail

Saturday 18 April, 2015

Lauder to Ranfurly

Smell: dung air

Hear: the sound of the tunnel talking back at me! (it said hello)

taste: the licorice bon bon I bought from the Oturehua store

Touch: the feel of the stone at night when we went curling at the Naseby Curling rink

Sunday April 19, 2015

Ranfurly to Middlemarch

Smell: sheep shit

Hear: ducks flying over my head saying “honk honk” which in duck language means “Come on Julie, you can do it!”

Taste: lunch at the Hyde Hall with filled rolls, Rural Women baking in the tins and the jug on! Touch: touch: the feel of the side of Pikes Tunnel as I freedom walked through the tunnel! It was magic.

150 km along the Otago Rail Trail, in picturesque Central Otago, on a tandem cycle with my husband Ron for three days, alongside 85 other rural women from all around New Zealand! We said “why not” to the Triple F Challenge! We did it!

I may not see but I can smell

And taste and touch and listen

And when I do this every day

I find my optimism!