I wake to a hum of pain about my body. There was nothing enormous to lift in the park last night, so instead I performed a series of exercise and feats beneath the full moon.
When exhaustion claimed me, I fell to my knees and reconsidered my vows of adventure.
Then I drank some free beer that I was given for engaging the local liquor shop in rare conversation about beer and breweries. It is good to the Champion of Murderbeers sometimes…
Now it is 07:30; time to rise and cleanse myself, before packing my bags and collecting up my beer for a 09:00 bus. It will take nine hours to reach my destination. I dislike the prospect, but am looking forward to being driven through New Zealand.
I leave in good time. For once, I am organised. It should be simple; I walk the perimeter of the park until I reach the river. I don’t know exactly where I am to pass over the river, but I will cross that bridge when I come to it. Literally.
08:40 arrives and I have yet to find the bus. I have taken a wrong turn. Hurried now, beer jangling atop my bag, I turn around and head back to the park. I turned too early and have been walking the wrong way for five minutes – I don’t have this time to waste!
Eventually, with just 10 minutes until my bus leaves, I locate the bridge. In my hands, the beer cheers with victory. All is saved! Or so I think.
Everywhere are steel bars. This part of Christchurch is impregnable – it is sealed for reconstruction. This bridge cannot be crossed. My body starts to do whatever it does instead of panicking. I am going to miss the bus.
Which of you bastards is the God of Earthquakes? Whomever it is, a curse upon you!
For a moment, I consider surging through the water, but realise the bars seal in the far shore as well. This damn earthquake! Is there nothing it won’t ruin?
Half-jogging now, I stumble to the next crossing. Dodging traffic, I traverse the river and jog back along the shore again. I have 5 minutes left.
Dripping with sweat despite the New Zealand morning chill, I half-resign myself to failure. Then I remember that a Guildsman never fails. A Guildsman merely redefines the parameters of success and then bellows loudly until people leave him be.
I fear that no amount of bellowing will hold the bus back. I must place my faith in my calves.
As I round the corner, my watch mocks me. “Three minutes left”, it warns; “Lucky you enjoy running” it adds. If sarcasm has a colour, it is turquoise.
In the distance, an orange light blinks outside the museum. An indicator. The bus! It has yet to leave! I surge onwards, my grasp on my beer the only thing firmer than my resolve to catch this bloody vehicle.
Minutes later, I am swinging my bag into the belly of the bus and clambering aboard. It is 09:00 exactly when I take my seat and there I stay…until 18:00.
At which point I arrive…in Queenstown…THE ADVENTURE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD!