"It is good to have an end of journey towards, but it is the journey that matters in the end "
-Ursula le Guin
Crossing the land of Kiwis by bike.
A hectic day on our last day in Australia, 4 delicious days in Sydney. A micro taxi took us to the airport with our huge boxed bikes and all of our stuff, Christchurch was the next stop, in between Federico felt almost like a tanned sardine in the Chinese driver's taxi. Oh no, the Novara had exceeded the limited weight by 7 kilos!! plus the out of nowhere question from the Air New Zealand's Aussie check-in desk clerck asking "Have you deinflated your bikes' tyres?" Come on lady...!!! So we took off, au revoir Kangas land.
A nice chat with Murray on the Air NZ's airbus. This friendly Kiwi motel broker offered us help in case we got stranded in the Kiwis' land. Thank you Murray. A relaxing flight and a very good vegetarian meal on board.
On December 10th 2007 we arrived to New Zealand, we've landed in Christchurch. A Victorian and peaceful Kiwi city, the capital of the South Island facing the Pacific Ocean and the Ring of Fire.
A smooth landing and direct to the Customs inspection, surprise again our bikes, shoes and tyres were extremely clean!!! Not in vain the hours investing in the cleaning process at our rented flat in Anandale. Customs filter passed and 2 hours later our bikes were once again assembled and ready to roll, so we headed towards our Green Space B&B in St. Albans. A cloudy long distance ride and we arrived to the Sheppard rd 16 where Yolanda and the sweet Nef would welcome us and showed us our nice room. Shod the nice black cat came to say hello. Christchurch's supermarket was waiting for us, on the way back home we fancied the Monday 10 NZdlls special from South the Border, a Mexican restaurant in the capital of the South Island.
Next day in the morning we had our promised tailored breakfast in the company of a German biologist from Bodensee. Then we got a ride with Rose Mary and headed to the centre of Christchurch, luckily we found the Ortlieb grips that Federico lost in Australia, we must cofess we are not satisfied with this cumbersome Ortlieb's system.
The Icebreaker's traps were waiting for our visit, oh! with so many xmas discounted appareil... hard to resist, right? And then to the Holy Grail to catch our minibus to Kaikoura. In between we were delighted by the magic voice and sax from Ellen at the Cathedral square, the wizard was there too, together with his double red beetle. What a post-New Year's gift!
From here we headed towards Kaikoura to encounter the Cetaceans and the seals. We took 3
rides to the sea to meet the sperm whales, then the curious seals and the dusky dolphins. Both the sperm whales and the dolphins live in the Kaikoura Cannyon, it's a pitty we were not able to swim with the whales as we did with the dolphins and the seals.
Once in Kaikoura's Cannyon Big and Little Nick would come to say hello near to our Maori catamaran. The anti sea-sickness pill did its job with Federico, we could really enjoy the breath-taking show. Down there in the deep blue besides the sperm whales giant squids, blue, merko sharks and the famous great whites inhabit the cold waters of the Kaikoura's cannyon. We were told that in winter Humpbacks come, it was just last week when a Blue whale with her calf crossed these waters on their way to Antarctica.
From Kaikoura we catched the bus to go back to Christchurch, on December 15th our Kiwi tour around the South Island started, we headed to Akaora in the Banks Peninsula where the Hector dolphins are breeding this time of the year. This time we were not so lucky as we were with the Dusky Dolphins. Hardly we saw Hectors approaching, and we were almost forced to jump into the freezing water despite the fact that there were almost no Hectors there, this kind of touristic companies shouldn't continue opperating there (Black Cat is the name to avoid in Akaroa).
After Akaroa we headed south the Island and then all the way to the North facing the Tasmanian Sea until we reached Nelson and from there to Picton to catch the ferry and reach the North Island's capital: Wellington...
more to come soon...