Day 13: Jerusalem to Bulls

"Where are you, my Golden Arches of glory!?!??"  I asked as I entered the beautifully ordinary city limits of Bulls, NZ. I belted a whoop of joy as they came into view. I had been dreaming of an iced chocolate for the last 30km. To my almost despair, they didn't have them at this McDonald's but a chocolate shake would suffice. Apparently my appetite now rivals that of a teenage boy. Without blinking I ate a Big Mac, fries, chocolate shake and a Fanta slurpie thing with ice cream in it. And I wonder why my body doesn't look like Rhonda Rousey as I feel it should already. 

Today we covered did another 115km and decided to just cut towards Palmerston North on highway 3 rather than following the official route. We want to get to the South Island and honestly, more gravel roads sound soul crushing. We need a break and to actually be able to cover some terrain.

 Yes it was as cold as it looks. And yes, that tan line is soon to resemble a candy corn.  

Yes it was as cold as it looks. And yes, that tan line is soon to resemble a candy corn.  

The morning scenery down the rest of Whanganui River Road was gorgeous! I climbed this steep 600ft climb without stopping. I felt oh so victorious!!!

 Yes it is as hot as it looks.  

Yes it is as hot as it looks.  

 View of the Whanganui River from the top of the hill  

View of the Whanganui River from the top of the hill  

In Whanganui, we got my rear wheel checked out at the bike shop. Apparently my back tire has been rolling unevenly for days per Jess. The guy straightened it as much as he could but said the wheels weren't meant to carry all the weight of extra bags but it wasn't going to break, just might distort again. You're not hardcore unless your bike looks hardcore 😂

While in the city, we also went through a cool tunnel and up a 98-year-old elevator to check out the view.

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Can't I just always pay $2 to skip a hill I don't want to climb? Then we cut to the highway with the goal of McDonald's. MY goal of McDonald's. You can take the girl out of America but not the America out of the girl. 

 Starfishing by the highway. That hill was trying to kill me! 

Starfishing by the highway. That hill was trying to kill me! 

Oh yes, also this cafe this morning had the funniest pigs grazing on the grounds. They were so cute, trotting and linking along their merry way.  Jess kept trying to pick one up. It was not fond as fond of the idea as she was. 

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Now at the hostel with freshly laundered and dried clothes and a bed calling my name. Frankly, I am exhausted. Like a tired almost weepy infant kind of tired.