‘I think most people have already gone to level two,’ said Neil, as we cycled out yesterday morning. There were fewer cars on the road but otherwise he was right – Oriental Bay was packed with people and there were bikes everywhere, ours included.
The weather was on our side, a gentle breeze barely ruffling the surface of the water. We went farther than we’ve been since March, cycling the coast road around the Miramar peninsula, past cafes that are normally packed with people on a sunny weekend. Today, one is still closed and orderly lines form outside the other, tables blocking doorways with staff standing back from them as you call out your coffee order.
It was lovely to feel the wind on my face and the blood pumping through my body, the harbour shining silver alongside me. This is our normal cycle route – we used to drive here from Karori, now we cycle from the apartment, adding on a few km around an extra bay or three. I surprise myself, expecting to be wrecked by the end and struggling for the last few km, instead my legs only stiffening as, with a few hundred metres to go, we climb off for coffee in the guise of supporting local business.
Today we drove out to the south coast to our favourite local walk, up the path to the Ataturk Memorial (commemorating the Gallipolli campaign in the first world war) and along to the harbour heads. It’s a good workout, up and down along the ridge, the cobalt sea crashing on the rocks far below, its first landfall since Antarctica. The path drops down to the sea and the road we cycled yesterday, and we skirt around Breaker Bay back to the car, pausing to watch surfers picking up the big waves.
It feels normal, as though the world has righted itself. Hopefully it won’t be long before it does and even level two is consigned to memory.