Saturday Ride – No Camera

A little shopping
today, first at a fund-raising market where for a remarkably good price I bought a turned wooden salad bowl, salad servers, a wooden spoon that took my fancy and a wooden cutting board.  Then to the MH supermarket and butcher at Flagstaff for a few groceries and some meat.  The butcher sells this really good lean topside mince. No fat.  It is dearer than the supermarket mince but very good.  It makes excellent burgers, chilli and bolognese.   I blew the rest of my grocery budget on a piece of corned silverside that will supply me with half a dozen meals. 

After oiling the new wooden kitchenware, I left it to soak, and set off on a bike ride.  I decided to ride out to Nausori along the back road from Tamavua past the forest park at Colo i Suva, and Raintree Lodge.  I toyed with the idea of having lunch at the Raintree, but I had some mince to come back to, so figured I would leave that for another time. 

It was a great ride. The road was in good nick, and sparsely used.  It was nice to be able to cruise at the limit with good visibility and a safe relatively pothole free surface.  Without my camera of course I saw all sorts of things I would have liked to point a lens at.  There are some great old buildings, bridges, scenic spots, especially along the rivers for IR shots, and even some interesting birds. I had a great opportunity to watch close up an eagle hovering in an updraft coming up the ridge beside the road.  I stopped and looked for a few minutes as it hung motionless, apart from barely noticeable adjustments of the wing now and then.  I thought that his was exactly the sort of opportunity that one only gets when the camera is locked up in a police station.

After a quick look around Nausori township, which does not appear to have a lot going for it, I went to add the airport to my GPS waypoints, then decided to try and get lost around the back roads.   Picking them at random I followed a few all the way down to dead ends on river banks.  At
Bau landing I met a group of youngsters who admired the bike, as young men do, asked me a lot of questions about it, but did not ask for a ride.  They then invited me on a canoe ride out to Bau island and back. 
It made a pleasant day even better. Even more so because the offer was
made out of friendship rather
than for pecuniary gain. No payment expected or requested.  Nonetheless I offered some petrol money which was refused.  It was a nice break to go out in a canoe, Cruising the mangroves and riding around the island reminded me of the Noro
passage and the Vonavona lagoon and those long ago far off intrepid days…

The ride back along the main Nausori-Suva road was an urban ride in traffic with the usual discourteous drivers and red light runners.  I caught up with just such a red runner at the next lights and pulled up beside him. A captive audience right beside me. I was pissed off, and gave him my best Irish abuse, pointing out that a less talented rider than I could have been killed in the collision that I narrowly avoided when he ran the red.  At least he took it in sullen silence rather than the abusive way the NZers do.  I then told him to go in front, as I felt safer behind him.  I felt that was the best insult of all.

I have just realised that it is a year ago today that I found Eric the Duck.  Here’s to her wherever she may be!  

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About Alan

Alone in a sea of spinifex.
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