Conked out ankle is now only semi-wonked so have managed in a very round-about way to ride up from Wanaka (bottom-ish bit of South Island) to Nelson (the top).

Nights seem to have been either fulls of boy racers with fat exhausts screaming down the road doing donuts or possums falling out of trees onto my tent.

Or both.

Winter roads: "snow in winter creates a white blanket across New Zealand's roads"

Winter roads: "snow in winter creates a white blanket across New Zealand's roads"

Bit cold too — chilliest night to date: minus 7° C. Had to chip the ice off my tent to get out.

Haven’t spotted any other cyclists now for weeks – think they’ve all gone home as weather, if not cold, is wet.

Or both.

 The Ahuiri Clay Cliffs near Omarama in the South Island of New Zealand

The Ahuiri Clay Cliffs near Omarama in the South Island of New Zealand

From Wanaka I was planning on heading further south (to get colder and wetter) but then a telephone call saw me veering upwards back towards Auckland as Gary (the builder) told me he’d suddenly decided to do the big move (give up home, job – (building) – etc) and fly out with bike to meet me.

From Auckland we may ride back down to the South Island (for a hefty dose of Antarctic cycling and camping conditions) or we might go to Oz to warm our cockles.

Merino Rams: "The Merino was the first sheep in NZ. They are fine boned, active sheep with white faces and legs; all rams and some ewes are horned. Merino sheep are found in the mountainous high country of the South Island of New Zealand."

Merino Rams: "The Merino was the first sheep in NZ. They are fine boned, active sheep with white faces and legs; all rams and some ewes are horned. Merino sheep are found in the mountainous high country of the South Island of New Zealand."

Might even try cycling home if the bendy bits of body hold.

NUMBER OF MILES SO FAR: 2401

NUMBER OF PUNCTURES: 0

NUMBER OF LOGGING TRUCKS THAT HAVE NEARLY FLATTENED ME: too many

NUMBER OF GERMAN CYCLISTS I’VE MET WHO SEEM TO BE ABLE TO CYCLE AROUND THE WHOLE OF NEW ZEALAND IN FIVE WEEKS FLAT: LOADS!!!