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  • Writer's pictureGary Moller

Our South Island Holiday

Updated: Mar 2


Relaxing while camping at the very top of the South Island
Camping at the very top of the South Island

One thing I keep telling people is they need to take a break from the hustle and bustle of modern life, including no internet and no cell phones. So here I am, working long hours, telling people to take a break and all the while I'm supposed to be in my retirement years! I love my work, so retirement is not an option, but I must make sure that I still practice what I preach!


Alofa preparing dinner
Alofa preparing dinner. I did help!

So, we packed up the car and went to Lake Tennyson in the deep upper South Island, which is one of the most remote places one can drive to in New Zealand and where there is definitely no electronic contact with the outside world.


Lake Tennyson
Lake Tennyson

We camped, slept a lot, and ate well. I did plenty of thinking about the year ahead and we did some cycling.



Well, that was about it; we did very little other than communing with Mother Nature, including the sandflies and the occasional mosquito.


Gary finishing St James Epic race
It was a tough one!

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that Alofa and I competed in the St James Mountain Sports Races. I did the 100 km race and Alofa the 65 km version. It went through the adjoining valleys, starting from Lake Tennyson. It was brutal with massive climbs over mountain passes. It was hot, reported to hit 43 Celsius during the heat of the day. There were several rescues by 4wd because of the intense heat and the brutal hills. We both finished intact and our placings were delightful. Professional athlete, Anton Cooper cleaned up, breaking his course record despite the conditions. Anton was two hours ahead of my time of 6hr 29 min and one hour ahead of the next person which was sobering. Gosh, he is so fast! Still, I was 10th place, among the young guns and three hours ahead of the next over 60-year-old. Alofa was the oldest female in her race, and just finishing was a fabulous. I'm so proud of her. That race goes down as being one of the toughest I've ever done - no exaggerating!


Prize-giving for the St James races
I had to give a plug to Heath Lunn and his family for organising this memorable event

That over, we headed out to the coastline and for more rest and relaxation before returning to work.


Relaxing on the beach

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7 Comments


Paul Mulvaney
Jan 21, 2021

I emailed a copy to his assumed manager who has yet to respond. Last time it was c/ another guy.

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Gary Moller
Gary Moller
Jan 21, 2021

Anton has all the qualities to be a world champion and he is going about being that in a most methodical way, including surrounding himself with the right expertise. Make sure you send me a copy of the next almanac and remind me to forward it to him.

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Paul Mulvaney
Jan 21, 2021

Totally agree so he looks in fine fettle for the season. Have added to the next almanac to spruce it up.

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Gary Moller
Gary Moller
Jan 21, 2021

There are no records for MTB, Paul but that speed with almost 2km of climbing and descending and over very rough terrain and who knows how many river crossings, that is world class by any standards! My GPS had the total distance almost exactly on 100 km, so it sure was impressive!

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Paul Mulvaney
Jan 20, 2021

That is an astonishing time by Anton and wonder what the world record is. How would I find that? Is it 100km mountain cycle?

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