Out of Auckland

And here we go.

Sorry for the silence but i was extremely busy on three fronts. First I had to get over the jet lag, for the first time in my life I had a strange case of swelling feet, I wonder what other lovely surprises raging will bring. Second I had to completely get rid of the chest infection I got over Christmas, that was successfully accomplished thanks to a mix of cough medicine and Jack Daniels, I have to admit that the situation improved much more quickly when I started adding generous doses of JD. Finally, and definitely not in priority order, I had to spend time with Adam and his lovely family.

Fit as a fiddle

Adam was one of the ushers at our wedding and he’s one of my best friends. We lived together in London a long time ago and we have not seen much of each other over the last few years but, as all great friendships, it is amazing how we manage to pick up as if we had seen each other two weeks before.

From the left: Nadira, Adam, Arantxa and Aroha
From the left: Nadira, Adam, Arantxa and Aroha

Adam has just come back to New Zealand after a bunch of years in Alicante where him Arantxa and Aroha moved to from London, and where Nadira was born. The four of them are a treat to be with, it is quite something to see the skill involved in managing a 10 and a 5 year old. After seing my sister and husband and Adam and Arantxa in action I have a new respect for parents and their resilience. I also am eternally thankful for not having children.

Setting the benchmark at  Mairangi Bay
Setting the benchmark at Mairangi Bay

So, goodbyes said and bags packed it was time to get going. I left with leisure at around 10:30 and I started what, I suspect, will be a constant of the next two months, short steep ascents followed by short steep descents. In between them I saw more of the Auckland north shore and eventually I wound myself down to catch the 11:45 Davenport to Auckland ferry.

First ferry of the trip

As I was getting in Auckland I realised it was 12:00 and I decided to have the last sushi with Adam, turns out that sushi is really popular here and truly delicious. I will probably discuss the oriental invasion in one of the forthcoming posts but let’s say that the sushi is probably on of the positive aspects of the invasion.

After lunch I made quite good inroad out of Auckland and by 15:00 I had a pause and did some food shopping. I am determined to camp as much as possible in New Zealand and therefore I need to become more self sufficient and handy at food management than I have been this far.

Route 2,901,666 – powered by www.bikemap.net

After that it was just the case of keep going south keeping eyes open for a comping spot. Sadly the area I am going through is very populated so it proved to be impossible to find accommodation on my own so I decided to ask a lady I saw walking the dog if she knew any spot in the neighbourhood where I could pitch the tent and promptly she invited me to come and pitch it at the back of her stables. I did not catch her name but we had a brief conversation about all sort of stuff including the fact that both her and I have recently lost our better half. After that she left only to come back a few minutes later, as I was pitching the tent, with a dish of rice and vegetable curry. Kiwi are truly hospitable people.

Suite at the Ritz? or camping by the stables? Easy choice.

Dinner had and camping position finalised I went to the house to bring back the dish and there I had an encounter with something I think I will become well versed in and that I’d like to call kimor as short hand for kiwi humour. The lady’s son in law came at the door and after exchanging pleasantries he asked about the ride. I replied that it was tough, first day and all, and his reply was, “lucky it’s mostly flat around here”. Then he asked where i was going and after hearing I was heading for Roturoa he said, “no problem it’s mostly flat that way too”. Well, wish me luck. 

One Comment Add yours

  1. Peter Davies says:

    Alex – well done in making it round to the other side of the world and not falling off! Hope the next stage of your cycling marathon goes well be it hilly or otherwise! All the best, Peter

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