I woke up this morning with this feeling like I just didn’t want to leave Gisborne.
As I stretched and gave my eyes a morning rub, I saw the orange glow of a wonderful sunrise unfolding outside. Oh the joys of staying with my dear friend Wieteke right on the beach: I slipped straight out of the bach and down to the beach, just in my little dress that has become my nighty. I have always loved being part of that early morning group of beachgoers. We exchange silent nods of happiness and wonder at what we’re being treated to. A shared love of the ever-evolving masterpiece of fiery colours. What a sky.
And then the crowning glory… the sun appears above the horizon line, lighting up the surface of the sea, filling our spirits with rich, fiery energy for the day ahead.
I don’t want to look away. I don’t want to pull my feet out of the sand and stop feeling the waves rushing past my legs. I certainly don’t want to pack up my stuff and leave. Not because the next chapter is terrible. On the contrary, I am hugely privileged to be joining the Pure Tour team doing ocean conservstion workshops at The National Aquarium in Napier tomorrow. What a very huge honour. I am just not ready to leave this place. I don’t want to leave yet.
Thankfully we have a fun meeting to distract from the leaving thing. One I have been looking forward to for quite some time. I have lost track of how many people have told me I must find and meet a man named Freddy at Bikeys in Gisborne. ‘He’s New Zealand’s bamboo bicycle legend’ they told me. So I was delighted when Freddy agreed to share his time, passion and ideas with us at his shop before getting stuck into his work for the day. Freddy has teamed up with local Maori artists to create stunning bicycle frames, which have been featured around the world in biking magazines.
And here he was, bamboo and carbon fibre bicycle in hand, telling me how he’d rescued a broken frame to become the back half of his bike’s frame, adding bamboo top and bottom tubes to get it up and running again. A work in progress, he said. It’s one thing to create a bamboo bike with new parts, like I did, but Freddy’s taken it to the next level of sustainability and upcycling, using parts from disused / crashed bicycle frames. We talked about the awesomeness of his ideas for future frame building with upcycled, disused frames mixed with bamboo for youth groups. I really hope that I come back here one day. And I really hope I find Freddy running these workshops. And I really hope he might find use for a teacher volunteer with a smidgen of bamboo experience.
And so, there was no more hiding from it. The time to leave was upon me. Wieteke, my wonderful friend with whom I’ve been staying and an old housemate of mine from years ago, jumped on Sunny for a spin and helped me load her onto the bus.
It feels like cheating, getting the bus, but for a few tight deadlines it’s had to be done.
On rainy days, it gives me some luxuriously dry admin and blog writing time… so it’s not so bad at all. It also gives me more time to explore Napier and its surrounds on my bike later. So I’m ok with the ways things are working out today, after all. 😊
PS I just arrived in Napier… sneak preview… I think I’m gonna like it here…