New Zealand Tour Comes to a Close

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
Trip End Aug 21, 2011

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Where I stayed
Manukau Top 10 Holiday Park

Flag of New Zealand  , Auckland,
Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The morning ride along the Seabird Coast of North East New Zealand was a beautiful start to our last few miles in the southern hemisphere. I think the excitement about USA had grown to such a height that we were ready to go, causing us to wake and pack very early and complete the first 20 miles before 10am.  They were very easy miles following the water on flat ground.

But then the day turned.  A very tough 10 miles full of a big hills left us frustrated that our progress to Auckland was losing momentum.  And then a really punishing head wind found us to make the next 10 miles really hard work as well.  We needed a stop and ice cream and coke in Clevedon fuelled us up for the final push.

However, the approach to Manakau City, a suburb of Auckland near the airport where we had decided to camp, was a killer.  Hill after hill left us exhausted until we finally found the city centre.  A smart move by Pols made us turn off the main road and by luck we found the huge bike shop I had been pestering all week about bike boxes.  A very helpful guy at Bike Barn had the boxes waiting for us and even printed us a map of how to find the campsite.  These Kiwis really are a friendly bunch!

The ride to the campsite was a full 2 miles, not far but all the way I was thinking how I now had to walk back to the bike shop, collect the boxes and then drag two huge cardboard containers back to the campsite.  

The operation turned out to be pretty painless as I managed to hail down a bus for the ride back.  Pols and I then set about dismantling the bikes and working out how we could avoid excess luggage fares by cramming all of our gear into just 4 bags.

After an hour we decided it was time for the evening shop and supper.  The shop turned out to be a mission and we found ourselves in a really rough area.  It was good to see though.  We haven't really seen a dark side to this wonderful country but we found it whilst on our way to find the supermarket.  The police sirens howled as the cops attended a call at a very rough sports bar.  People were hanging around down dark alleys.  It was a tough place and we didn’t hang around too long.

Back at the campsite we Skyped Bosham to discover that Alan had risen to TV fame overnight.  With a breakfast and lunchtime appearance on BBC1 reporting on the weather from Sailing Barge Alice, Alan is the talk of the town.  We are convinced this is only the start, watch this space for future television and film news.

With a flight to catch tomorrow we called it a day.  With about 1500 miles under our belts from New Zealand we looked forward to a day of watching films on the plane and the beginning of a 3000 mile ride across America.

Miles Cycled:  52 final miles in New Zealand
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