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!