the passage is of greater interest than the destination.
The ancient basement rocks poke out through the ragged, sack-coloured grazing like dinosaur armour, rising to whipped meringue configurations in one place but laid out in
weary couchant slabs in others- according to the angle of their strata, I suppose.
single syllables of contemporary uptick.
The Otago Rail Trail- a newish route through a string of rural burgs- is the only real game in town, aside from the eternal farming. Middlemarch has become its handmaiden, devoting its main drag almost entirely to the cargo-cultish service of the cycling tourist trade.
Helmeted hordes disgorge from the train and various vans. They are herded off to cafés and then chased out onto their rented bicycles.
I've always thought of bikes as a way to escape other people, so I don't personally understand the appeal of massed, administrated cycling in matching shirts and headgear that smells of a hundred other sweaty scalps. The route is open to anyone, hazard-free, clearly delineated with no shortage of obvious accommodation and yet most prospective cyclists seemed to cleave to these organised clots.
Just watching them all squinting in the kind of sunlight that will scorch them unwittingly scarlet by the end of the day while their pack leaders droned through safety spiels prior to launch gave me a referred case of the chafed bores.
Their plight was incomprehensible.