So after 24 hours of flight, 3 airplanes, and one dateline crossing, we made it to Auckland!! Our bike boxes were inspected at least 3 times and were at their last legs by the time they got to Auckland from being taped and retaped so many times.
We landed at the airport, extracted our bikes ( that have to go through x ray, one more time), had our tent checked by the bioprotection agency of NZ, just in case we are bringing seeds into the country, and wheeled the bikes to the bicycle assembly area
People were very curious and friendly as we were assembling the bike. A lady (in her sixties, but super fit looking) gave us a pointer and to,d us that her and her husband biked down from. Vancouver to Mexico last year! Strangers spent 5 minutes giving us directions that were very difficult to understand because of their accents, the strange/ similar sounding street names, and how they told us to turn at “the third roundabouts”. So apparently the kiwis are really fond of their roundabouts. And roundabouts are scary when you are trying to ride on the wrong (e.g: left) side of the road.
Anyways, bikes are assembled and loads are put on and my bikes is very heavy! I’ve never used the front racks before and that made life way more difficult. A little turn on the steering wheels made my bike very unstable, especially when going downhill with a bunch of turns.
The ride was very pleasant, the weather is in the 70s and its surprisingly humid ish here. There are not very many bikers here, but people are surprisingly mindful of us. Maybe it’s just because they had more patience. We could definitely tell the ‘suburbs’ with children sauntering around in uniforms, small houses and stores ( very Hawaii like), cows right along side the road, versus the downtown area that is very culturally diverse,with posh stores and coffee shops all over the place.
We had dinner with my friend from singapore last night at this Japanese izakaya/yakitori place in a dungeony basement. It was amazing. Astari, thanks for dinner and good luck on your next venture in indonesia. We really should be better at taking pictures.
The trees are gnarly here. So awesome.
My favorite part of the day was meeting amazing strangers. We met this UK man, hector Krome, who has been ‘hitching’ around the world for 40 year. He travels all over the world with his bag pack, hitchhike everywhere in countries like Ethiopia, Australia, indonesia, and more places than I can name. He does this for 3 months of the year, after which he goes back to the uk to live in his truck (parked behind the bushes on the backyard of a mansion, for free) and give talks all around uk, earning 400usd/hour, talking to private school students about the importance of travelling before going to the corporate lifestyle. Our 3 hours flight seemed so short as he regaled us with quirky stories, pictures and very personal epiphanies he just had last week. He was so vibrant (at 67 years old), alive, enthusiastic and very open. He has been deported from the us (due to some tagging criminal record from the 70s), shipwrecked on his way to Mardi gras in brazil, slept in abandoned truck bed surrounded by wild dogs in nepal, and so many more! I am so excited to be meeting quirky interesting people like this throughout our journey.
So our plan is to pick up our rental car and head toward the North to 90-Mile beach. I wish we have had enough time to bike tour both the north island and south island, but this will work just fine.
we will be better at taking more pictures, promise. This is a pic of our ‘hotel’ room.