We are off again - From Copenhagen's Little Mermaid to Milan's Great Cathedral - CycleBlaze

We are off again

We are off again. I think we might be addicted.

People ask me why I so love bike touring and I give all the usual answers. You see the countryside in such wonderful detail, people are so kind, I love the food , its fun trying to talk different languages and see how others live etc etc. But although those are all true that is not the real reason.

If you were to see me you would see a tall, stooped, slightly overweight elderly woman still with a bit of a limp despite a spinal fusion and a hip replacement. I am the sort of person you would be tempted to offer a seat to on a bus. I get on a bike and something magical happens. It is like Clark Kent getting into a phone booth . No I don't emerge Superman. But it is like some sort of time travelling. Immediately I feel as if I have shed 50 years. I am young and carefree again without any vestage of an ache or a pain. We are invincible, we can ride anywhere and do anything. We are joyous and happy.

On August 1st we leave Auckland en route to Copenhagen. Nine weeks later we fly home from Milan. A hotel is booked for our first two nights in Copenhagen, we will find the Little Mermaid and wander off from there to Milan's great Cathedral finding our accommodation as we go.

We live on a 100acre pastoral farm with a 5 acre vineyard and a winery. Today is the shortest day and it is all go here while we rush to get everything in order before we leave. The pruning is virtually finished and the grapes just need a dormant spray so than they can sleep until springtime. There are 300 new grapes to plant but that will have to wait a little until the plants are ready. Lambing is well under way with the new lambs docked and vaccinated. This season's wine is through Malo/Lactic fermentation and will just need a final racking so it can wait our return. Of course there is still a massive clean up needed in the garden and out buildings but it is truly amazing how much we get done when we have a deadline.

Pukekos are brightly coloured native birds with a clumsy flight and a raucous voice who live in pastures and swamp lands. The farm abounds in them. Our eight year old grandson, Matthew, gave Ken a toy one for his birthday. I wish the real Matthew could come with us on our bike ride but we will just have to make do with Matthew the Pukeko and bring him along with us. I will have to think of some way of making him a secure seat on Ken's Bike.

Our son Stephen helping with the pruning
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Burning the canes helps kill the fungi spores from the previous year
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A pruned vineyard looks very neat
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A cup of tea is very important when pruning - the dogs enjoy it to
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There are lots of lovely little lambs at the moment
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Matthew the pukeko contemplates his journey
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