Today’s itinerary was inspired by Tom and Donna from the show Parks and Recreation, “Treat Yo Self Day”, basically do whatever you feel like. So here we go:
1. Ride five minutes to Spa Thermal Park to lie under a waterfall and soak in a steamy hot spa.
Now, I do have a history of unnecessarily wearing full length skins (compression tights for sport), and it usually happens when I’ve run out of clean clothes. In this case, laundry day is tomorrow and I didn’t bring bathers for a NZ winter trip, so these were the only things I could wear that would dry by tomorrow morning.
Back in Tonga the same thing happened when I washed all my shorts on the same day, then we went on a Sunday arvo ride.
At the bottom of this steaming waterfall was a Jenny-sized nook, so I decided to lay down for a while and listen to the water rush by. Occasionally some black swans from the river would float over to investigate, but I was already warned of thieves in the area, so I made sure they didn’t ransack the bag with my clothes and towel.
2. Take a leisurely walk to Huka Falls
According to TripAdvisor, it’s the most photographed site in NZ, but I only saw three selfie sticks, which is well under the average for most tourist destinations.
3. Have your first lunch, comprised of honey tasting, mead tasting and a scoop of Manuka honey and almond ice cream. They had so many liqueurs, whiskies and various moisturisers too, but unfortunately the extra weight is not cycle touring friendly. I only ended up buying a 120g jar of honey with ginger, we’ll see how long it lasts.
4. Have your second lunch: crunchy macaroni cheese and a jumbo mug of mocha. I went to Victoria’s, it was pretty neat o the inside, plus the waitress was kind enough to help me when I got my zipper stuck on my down jacket (rookie mistake).
5. Go for an hour long sports massage. Normally I go for the nice and soothing massage, but with all the cycling I’m doing (plus sleeping in hostel beds), my muscles needed some work. I went to Bodyworx Gym up the road, and hoped it wouldn’t be too bad. I found that there were two main differences between sports massages and regular massages; first, it has to hurt before it gets better. There’s no point pretending it doesn’t hurt because your twitching body gives it away pretty easily. Secondly, forget the ambiance, there will be no Enya/Dido/Norah Jones soundtracks or scented candles here, just the sounds of discomfort and relief for an hour.
6. Have a nice dinner; I had a teriyaki salmon bento box, delightful.
7. Go to the movies and not listen to anyone talk or each chips loudly. Luckily I was the only one in the cinema and I wasn’t in the mood for chips.
8. Sleep well. Indeed I slept well.