Auckland, Wellington & Picton

Trip Start Aug 23, 2012
Trip End Aug 20, 2013

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Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Thursday, February 7, 2013

From Santiago, we flew a surprisingly quick 14 hours to Auckland - magically arriving 2 days after leaving Santiago. Given our disproportionate level of joy upon hearing and being able to read sings in English - further exacerbated by jet-lag induced dementia  - it was a miracle we managed to escape a full body cavity search for drugs when passing through immigration; our tent was not so lucky…

Given that our time in NZ will largely be spent cycling the South Island, we hit the outdoor shops to source out the last few pieces of camping equipment needed. One hour, a black wrap dress and 2 bottles of wine later, we deemed our shopping trip a complete success.

Following a 5pm bed-time and 3am wake-up, we set off to Half Moon Bay to see friends we met in London (who now live in Auckland) for a BBQ. Within about 5 minutes, we decided that perhaps we too should move to Auckland like Gary and Sarah did; they even said we could stay with them – an offer they will likely live to regret once we move in and never move out. Failing that, we could move in with Patsy and her husband Braid - a retired couple who invited us to dinner and offered us a room in their home after speaking to us for about 3 minutes – I think this either proves that Daryn and I are very obviously of good character, or, perhaps more accurately, that people in New Zealand are a good mix of friendly and crazy.

Departing Auckland, we took what could loosely be described as a night-bus but more accurately resembled a walk-in freezer to Wellington. Though our previously mentioned shopping trip in Auckland was a success, we felt that perhaps more than a dress might be required for biking so set off to source bike shorts… let me tell you, the only thing more depressing than bathing-suit shopping is shopping for padded bike-shorts – this item of clothing being particularly soul-destroying to purchase because not only do they make it look you are wearing a bloated diaper under spandex, but they are also extortionately expensive. Bye bye dignity!

But I suppose the spandex diapers should be the least of our worries given this quote from the first paragraph of the cycling book we are relying upon to get us through the next 6 weeks: '… inclines that will challenge yours stamina, downhills that will test your nerve, headwinds will drain your spirit and rain will dampen your very soul'… good lord, what sane person would sign up for this?! As Daryn planned this, it’s clear he’s punishing me for something… or, more likely, everything I’ve done in the past 9 years.

Some of you have asked if we are doing the biking for charity – we’re not – turns out this stupid idea is just a stupid idea. But please send us money anyway - large denomination bills in $USD would be best.

Next stop: no idea; likely a beautiful campsite in the middle of nowhere… :)
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mom on

New Zealand does look much like Saskatoon. I remember you telling me that the 7 week bike ride would be on flat terrain! That must be Daryn's April Fool's joke! Enjoy the ride- you can do it!

jana_and_daryn on

no mom, I said CHRISTCHURCH looks like saskatoon, new zealand in general has a bit more to offer :) x

Megan on

Looks like your off to a wonderful and beautiful start to New Zealand!!

evelyn on

Glad you guys arrived in New Zealand safely, let see what new adventure awaits you now.Take care

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