Finally...time to revive.
It had been 5 years since the conclusion of Vigil, a journey during which I had assiduously searched for a way to dedicate my life towards something good. The omen I received involved applying natural and self-empowering metabolic therapies to people suffering from degenerative disorders, such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, as well as cancer, and to discover whether these metabolic therapies could not only ease the symptoms of these troublesome diseases, but actually mitigate the underlying processes associated with them. I believed then, as I still do now, that this would be good for humanity.
Bolstered by this augury, I had been relentlessly striving towards this goal for 5 years, and with the vital aid provided by my colleagues and patients had experienced a degree of success, publishing studies that showed encouraging results in the application of metabolic therapies to people with degenerative disorders and cancer. However, one particular clinical trial had continued to evade me, one that involved the application of a more intense form of metabolic therapy to people stricken with glioblastoma multiforme, a very aggressive type of brain cancer. The rapacious nature of this cancer could only be countered by an equally fervent metabolic therapy, or so I reasoned. To this end, I had been meticulously designing a powerful metabolic therapy program, testing it on myself, and I believed that I was "ready enough" to implement such a program in people with glioblastoma multiforme. Yet to obtain collegial support, funding, and ethical approval, and then to actually implement the program in a formal study, well, that was another matter entirely.
Still, life's true intent is patience, and by the of this year I had combined forces with several of my neurology and oncology colleagues, and we were now on track to apply a powerful metabolic therapy program to people with glioblastoma multiforme in a formal clinical trial next year. Yet lately, now that I had finally arrived at the precipice of the study, I found that my mind was not at all in the right place to embark on such an undertaking, assailed on multiple fronts by a plethora of routines and distractions, minutiae necessary to keeping the dream alive, but minutiae that threatened to stifle and smother the dream at the same time. And beyond this, the way ahead suddenly appeared more treacherous, full of potential difficulties and disasters, and I found myself vexed by innumerable questions and concerns rearing up within my head, questions and "what-ifs" that had insidiously morphed themselves into a nebulous menace that woke me nightly, nightmare-like, and derided the vision, with one haunting phantasm rising above all others - could this really work? Would a metabolic therapy program actually prolong high-quality life in people with a terminal cancer, such as glioblastoma multiforme?
So, time to shatter the minutiae, to revive the dream, and to slay the phantasm...this is Ricochet.
I woke up. It was yet another day...no, not just another day.
Arrival onto the South Island.
Blenheim, in sunshine.
Towards Nelson, now in shadow.
Roadside forest enshrouded in mist.
The way ahead is obscured by fog.
Switchback heading north to Takaka.
Bacon, eggs, and Hollandaise galore in Collingwood.
The clouds temporarily retreat, providing a nice view.
Riding alongside the Buller River to Westport.
The West Coast
I stayed the night in Westport, a small town bolstered by coastal mountains located on the north-west coast of the South Island. After spending the night, I sauntered into a seemingly out-of-place German cafe owned by Frank and Kathrin, both originally from Germany. Frank greeted me amiably; he had an effusive personality. We spoke at length, focusing on the differences between Germany and New Zealand, and although he was clearly proud of his home country, he was also adamant that life was much better in his adopted one. Frank made a mean bratwurst.
A cold and wet ride on the lonely road to Karamea.
Sweeping views of the coast near Greymouth.
A brisk morning in Franz Josef.
And the weather holds.
Peaks guard the pass to Fox Glacier.
Taking a break on a brilliant ride.
Reverence on the highway to Haast.
Salmon sashimi, smoked salmon, and grilled salmon with mucho tartar sauce at the salmon farm.
Ride down the coast to Jackson Bay.
A peaceful sierra provides constant company.
Beached boat in Jackson Bay.
Midway to Wanaka, I took a brief hiatus at a cafe outside the village of Makarora. The Argentine couple working there delineated the similarities and differences between Argentina and New Zealand, reaffirming that although the two countries shared a similar landscape, the government's extreme attempts to regulate the Argentine economy had destabilized the country to the extent that it made long-term planning next to impossible, which was the opposite problem to which I was currently facing. Having spent 3 months in Argentina, I could understand their point of view; I still think, as I did then, that a good way to live in Argentina would be as a non-citizen, holding the majority of one's resources outside of the country. Recapitulating my flight south, I passed by two stunningly gorgeous lakes, Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea. For the first time in my voyage, the weather was hot, and the terrain itself metamorphosed into a dry, semi-cauterized mural of jagged ridgelines, halcyon lakes, and undomesticated scrub, all of which was watched over by the vigilance and indefatigable suzerainty of the sun.
Standard South Island one-lane bridge.
Lake Hawea on the approach to Wanaka.
It's hot and dry now.
Swooping down into Queenstown.
Layover at Lake Wakatipu.
Now it's just a straight shot to Glenorchy.
Escorted by rugged peaks and grazing sheep.
General Store in Glenorchy.