After the amazing Kepler great walk, we stated at Queenstown another night. Because it was my birthday, we thought it would be appropriate to (finally) stay in a hotel. We got a fancy hotel directly across from the lake. We roamed the night in queenstown, drank a lot of cider and I passed out in bed.
Saying bye to Kelley was difficult. Spending two weeks with another person and sharing every (waking and sleeping) moment in a very close vicinity drew us close together. We get to see so many different angles of each other’s personalities. I will remember this adventures that we shared together very fondly.
Brady and I continued our journey further down South, South to the Southern tip of the Southern Island of New Zealand. We drove through the Caitlins, up to Nelson, and finally Christchurch to get ready to fly out. Being in a car and driving through the miles (very quickly), gave me a much deeper appreciation of the simple and slow enjoyment of living on the bike. We were still amidst the same beautiful view in the car, but we were confined and our attention spans decreased again. I missed being on the bike, being submerged in my thoughts, feeling every jolts of uneven road, feeling very thankful of smooth road, clean crips air, beautiful weather and surrounding. Being in a car made me feel that we were just tick marking destinations, things to see, without exerting much effort to get there. It took me a while to get used to it.
Christchurch was interesting for a lack of better word. My parents bought us two nights in a hotel in downtown Christchurch for my birthday. This was the first time in New Zealand and since we left that we stayed for two consecutive nights at the same place (other than Kelley’s house). Downtown Christchurch was devastated by the earthquake a year or so ago. They started redeveloping from the outside of town, working their way in, leaving the downtown barren, empty, demolished and… I guess very much affected by the earthquake still. The extent of the earthquake was prevalent and it makes me wonder how it would be if the earthquake hits the bay area (knock on wood). Other than that, it was a very nice and green city, they had parks everywhere, it was very bicycle friendly. We biked to the coast and to this amazing farmers market.
We also scrounged/ dumpster dived the garbage cans of a bike store to obtain boxes to fly back out.
Fiji was beautiful. We stored our bikes at the airport and went with very light pack for the entire time we were there. Mana Island is only 45 minutes away from Nadi (where the airport was), but an entirely different world. Mana island is a tiny island, but considered one of the bigger islands. One could walk the entire perimeter of the island in 2.5 hours. I honestly thought I was going to go island crazy, but it was super relaxing. After 5 days there, our speeches were so much slower and we walked like sloth, like the island people.
We went on 6 dives, all very beautiful– the sea lives were aplenty. We saw some sea turtles, lots of tuna, nemo, sharks, stingrays, etc. Even the snorkeling was amazing. All the scuba dives were boat dives, and we revolved our lives on the island around the dives and the meals. We met with very cool people and I feel so lucky to have experienced that.
Brady caught some major fish- the biggest he’s ever caught. We went fishing with the owner of the hostel we were staying at and Brady’s fish was so big that it fed everybody in the hostel.
note: Fiji gold is better than Fiji bitter.
We also tried Kava and brought some home. It tasted like grass and I highly doubt that we’ll ever drink it.
Since we’ve been back, I’ve been trying to maintain the Zen. Both of us are much more appreciative of everything we have and all the possibilities that might happen in the future.
Looking back to the pictures, I am realizing that we looked so relaxed and happy, at ease and content. I should feel like that every day, right?
The Bay Area is gorgeous, especially right now, in the midst of spring. Last week we went to Mendocino for a 45 mile bike ride, through dense redwoods, along the rivers and on the coast, next to the ocean. We went camping (with firewood because it’s allowed!), outriggering in the river and consuming delicious food.
I can’t wait for the beautiful summer and the rest of this year. It will only get better. The prospect of that is overwhelming me with how grateful I have to be.
Ha. Now on to planning on the next trip.