Going to Queenstown with an aching heart.

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Well its that time again. As some of you have probably noticed, I haven't been as in touch as much as I would like.

About three and a half weeks ago I rode into a town called Waipara. It is your standard small town, New Zealand style. Just a few houses bunched around an intersection, and a pub. It was raining out and I was pretty hungry, so I decided to pull over and grab a burger. There were a few things I liked about this pub. First of all, the burger was made American style. I know you probably are thinking you cant tell the difference between one burger and the next but kiwis just make them different, its hard to explain. I soon found out the reason: the cook was American. Not only that but Californian, from Fresno. He was a nice guy, and we talked over beer for a while. All the while, sitting at the table behind him was two pretty dark skinned girls, speaking some kind of spanish. The rain just kept coming down harder and harder, so it looked like I would be there for a while. The Californian noticed my wandering eyes. “Hey man, I'll give you the beers for $4 (as opposed to 6) if you go over that and talk to those girls!” “I dont know if I can handle it” I said. “But I'll try.” So I took my time finishing my burger, and quickly downed another 24 oz. I pushed myself away from the table and started to get up when an enormous shock wave almost knocked me off my feet. A bright flash came in through the windows, and the lights went out and were swinging back and forth from the ceiling. The railroad crossing bells were going off, but no train was coming. The girls were screaming and my eyes were a mile wide. It was the closest I have ever been to lightning, it struck just a few meters outside the pub! It must be an omen, I thought. But lightning usually means something bad is going to happen, and I was about to go try my luck with the girls. I pondered it for about a millisecond but approached their table anyway. We all took a while to calm down, and then got to talking. I learned that they werent speaking Spanish, but Portuguese, and were from Brazil. Thier names were Patricia and Caroline. They were working on the Vineyards there in Waipara. The beers kept coming as it got later and later. And just like its supposed to happen in the movies, they invited me back to their place to continue the party. I was a little nervous but decided it was too good an opportunity to give up. They lived in a moderately sized house a few kilometers away. Everyone there was Brazilian so it was pretty intimidating, but they seemed interested in what I had to talk about and laughed at my jokes (not sure if they really understood what I was saying or just being polite) As time wore on, people started retiring. Work tomorrow, they said. Only Patricia and Caroline remained. We BS'd for another half hour before they asked if I was going to stay the night. I told them, honestly, that I had no other place to go, and that could I pitch a tent in the lawn for the night if thats ok. They laughed at that and very slyly informed me that “what kind of hosts would we be to make you sleep outside.”

I stayed the next day because one of the guys there, Rafael, a small brazillian boy with a permanent grin and high pitched voice was having a birthday party. There was a barbecue, which was amazing, thin strips of meat seasoned and cooked over a wood fire, and beer, of course. Patricia and I really hit it off and it was pretty obvious to everyone there that something might be happening. I stayed another night with plans to keep riding the next morning. Patricia was visibly sad, but bid me farewell. I said goodbye to everyone, and rode away. I felt like something wasnt quite right, and I kept thinking about Patricia all day. When I got to the next town Waikari that night, and was ready to go to sleep in my bag, the itch became too much.
I picked up my phone and gave her a call: “Hey Patricia, I have an idea! Lets go to Christchurch and spend a night there, just for fun.” She thought it was a great idea, so I booked a bus and met her the next day. Christchurch was extremely fun. We went out to the bars like usual, but this time I had a girl with me, so it was a completely different experience. She is an amazing dancer and looking at her I started noticing that she was one of the more beautiful people in the city. The next day we went back to Waikari, and I prepared myself to say goodbye, once again. Of course, I just couldn't do it. I told her I would stay with her and work on the vineyards. She was ecstatic, and so was I, if a little nervous. And that was that.

The last few weeks have been amazing. Never felt anything like it. Its just good. Also, I've been working 12 hours a day, sometimes more, in the fields. Its been good money, I've saved over $1000 in 3 weeks. However, I still need to get to Queenstown, to complete my quest. So once again I'm packing my bags and heading out. I've made plans to meet Patricia in QT in a month, but you never know those kind of plans. She seems pretty sad and I cant say I'm super happy about leaving either but some things can't change, eh? All I can really do is look forward to completing my bike trip and hope that I see Patricia again, that would be ideal. We hope to travel together for a few months after Queenstown.

So theres my story. Its a little rushed and I'm sure I left a lot out, but you get the idea. More pics? Oh, and a video for y'all: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=db2rNT8Ydo0