I’d describe his facial and head features as a combination of Emmett “Doc” Brown from the movie ‘Back to the Future’ movie, wearing Joe 90 framed glasses, styling a mop of hair similar to Medusa – the Greek mythology that had venomous snakes in place of hair!

The tights he wore did nothing for his skinny as frame, sagging from behind. He wore woollen socks as hut foot wear.

The senior citizen from Wellington with a career in dentistry (still working), he was a delight to converse with during dinner the evening before.  Except when he zoned in on cremations and what sort of pollution containment there is about with all the mercury fillings people have.  It was outside my specialty field with a slight tainted response that his era was the root cause of prilling, drilling and filling.  With mercury!

Both he and his partner (also a senior citizen but from Christchurch) were cycling the trail.  They were going to be staying at the same hut as us again this day at Specimen Point, so their departure time didn’t need to be as early as ours, given they were cycling, and we weren’t.

All the trail notes and maps were in collusion – 25km, 7-8 hours.

Visualising a long day in the boots, on the boots.

Overthinking the just thinking about it was exhausting.

Without even taking a first step.

But it had to be done and so we started.

A couple of kilometres up the trail, we stepped aside to allow the husband-and-wife marathoners to run past.  Actually, it was the wife first and then the hubby.  Quite the gentleman. However, every time we had to step off the trail to allow bikers to pedal past as well, it meant additional steps for us. 

And over the course of the day, they added up.

Nigh on half way, we had to stand aside and give way to a larger group of cyclists.  We anticipated seeing a friend who was supposed to be with them, however, he only made it to Lyell Hut and because of body conditioning, or lack of it, had to turn back.  In amongst the group, the dentist and partner rode past with words of encouragement exchanged.

Continuing, we encountered a couple of walkers heading in the opposite direction.  Stopping to chat, one of them asked if Dr. Ashley Bloomfield (NZ Public Health Official who has fronted the Covid pandemic since its beginning) was in the larger cycling group.

“Nah, he was just a dentist from Wellington” was my reply.

Encountering a second mate from Christchurch whom we socialise with that was also on the trail at the right time was the kind-rid spirited interaction we needed.  It evaporated the hurt in the legs the last four kms.

A hard day at the office to eventually arrive at Specimen Point Hut, the 25km achieved in 7.5 hours.

“Doc” Emmett wearing Joe 90 glasses with the Medusa hair style also confirmed that Bloomfield was amongst the group and cycling the trail and had past us by.

Just goes to prove the point that perving at lycra from behind always looks the same!

Who looks at faces?