Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Not so insignificant after all!

Althouth Invercargill may be considered sort of an insignificant, unimpressive non-place, we found several impressive things!

1. Invercargill houses NZ’s only indoor cycling track. We booked an hour at the Velodrome where our cycling coach (who coinkidinkally was the mother of one of the girls we got to know on the Routeburn track!) showed us the ropes and taught us how to cycle confidently around the steep angled track with brakeless bikes.

Riding the fixed-pedal bikes was a bit of a learning curve as your feet need to be moving constantly.

(I got so good that I could multi-task. Ride AND stick out my tongue without falling flat on my face!)

To stop, you need to cruise around the centre (flat part) of the track ‘till you’re going slow enough to grab the rail in order to come to a complete stop.

We both LOVED the experience and only wished we had scheduled more time in Invercargill so we could do it again and again!

2. Invercargill was the home of “The World’s Fastest Indian” driver Burt Munroe, as well as the location of part of the movie (Oreti Beach). We visited the replica of the bike (which was used in the film)…

We also visited Oreti beach where Burt set a couple of his world records and first races his bike in the movie.

Ladies and gentleman, allow me to introduce to you ‘The World’s Fastest Canadians”:

3. Invercargill is home to the world’s oldest Tuatara, Henry. He is 121 years old and apparently kind of grumpy. Tuatara’s are NZ’s unique lizard-like reptiles.

Old Henry wouldn’t show his face…

But we did get a look at some other little guys.

4. Tim Shadbolt, the Mayor of Invercargill, is originally from West Auckland (where we lived!) and he’s done amazing things in Invercargill. Lance & Nat suggested that we meet him as he is such a jolly fellow and perfectly willing to meet and chat with random folks. We contacted him to set up an appointment, but sadly he was out of town when we were in Invercargill. He offered a meeting time, but unfortunately we were many many miles away by then.

Next time, Mr. Mayor… next time.

And that, my friends, is why Invercargill isn’t so insignificant and unimpressive as one might hear/think/assume.

5 comments :

marcandorkylie said...

I'm glad you got a better impression of Invercargill than we did, it was just RAIN RAIN RAIN when we were there. (I think all we did was go to the grocery store, oh and look for a dutch bakery that lonely planet recommened which turned out to be awful and not a dutch bakery.) And ummmm why do you want to meet the mayor? He does look like a jolly man though.

Shelley said...

I saw an episode of Rick Mercer where he went to one of those cycling ovals ...it was funny. I totally wanna try one but i would be too afraid to make a mistake and crash into other people zipping by :S

Bloggy Mama said...

You guys have seriously good-looking running legs. Am I creepy for looking?

marcandorkylie said...

Okay, makes much more sense now. And I agree you have sexy legs!

Carlynne said...

Oh the biking looks like fun!! YOu guys are very good at being tourists. Dan and I have been like tourists in Edmonton lately. We are trying to try new things before we leave. Today we went for a walk and found a really fun play ground just 3 blocks behind our house. And we found a really cute local bakery too. Mmmmm raisin cookies. Maybe its better I didn't discover that earlier....