Kia Ora from New Zealand
I arrived at 5:30am to a waking Auckland, not too cold and the sun was beginning to rise. Clearing customs was extremely relaxed and I collected my baggage without problems. That is until I looked at the box closer.
USA customs had again decided to open my bike box as an apparent security risk only they opened it with a knife of some sort, slashing both my tent and sleeping mat!
During the handling process the rear brake had been badly damaged and needed 3 hours to straighten and part of the cycle had been forced through the box suffering yet more damage to the frame. An expensive rear light bought in the USA had been smashed which meant no riding after 6pm!
Bike finally built and a mental note made to complain I set off from Auckland airport heading south. 70 miles that day was all I could manage, probably because of the 13 hour flight and a stiff neck from sleeping on the plane, but also still extremely wound up. Auckland is also difficult to try out of.
I stopped at the town of Huntly in a motel where I found fresh fruit in abundance and away again at 6am the following morning through Scottish named towns such as Hamilton and completing 130 miles to National Park home to 3 of the North Islands volcanos one of which is still active.
This was uphill all the way and was later to cause me problems with fatigue.
The following morning I set off again at 6am. It was icy on the roads and it was the coldest I had been since France. Within a few miles disaster struck when a number of minor issues coincided to cause a potential disaster.
A long quiet road, a single cyclist (me) a single pot hole, one GPS and a truck all combined at the same time resulting in a smashed GPS unit with all my maps on.
Not a happy man especially when I had to make Bulls that day another 130 mile ride.
Bulls was made by 6pm! Its a town which makes light of its name and in doing so has become a bad joke. The police station has Constabulls written on it and Bulls declares itself a town like no udder. Well you get the point.
My final day in North Island was a flat 80 into Wellington and the last ferry across the Cook Straight. Apparently one of the most beautiful ferry crossings in the world a night crossing does not do it justice
However morning in Picton bought stunning views of the surrounding islands.
This day was tough still recovering from the flight and long mileage, I was forced to cycle into and through the night covering 200 miles into Christchurch in a desperate bid to make Dunedin. However the reverse was true and I was physically spent by the time I arrived with still 250 miles to go to Dunedin airport.
I should have allowed longer for New Zealand with all the climbing and I’m both physically and mentally exhausted again so I’ve rested up in Christchurch where I’m hoping to recover and source an essential replacement part which if it broke could leave me stranded in the outback! So far I’m not having much luck.
Next stop Australia and the Nullabor an 1100km outback plain where I will truly be on my own.