Tour Aotearoa can begin – we’re safely in NZ

Safely arrived in Auckland and delightfully quartered with Warmshowers friends Steve and Annette Thoms (latter helpfully also Secretary of Auckland Cycle Touring Club), we’re nearly ready to get going on the Tour Aotearoa.

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20160204_221121Flew over Ayres Rock/Uluru in the middle of Australia at 40,000 feet on the way (evidence pictured), and rather more important, Daisy2 arrived with us almost in one piece in her plastic bag.

Only damage the pusher lever on the cycle bell (how did that happen!), and the two flaps on each mudguard. Again, how?

The folk at Auckland airport were quite delightful – they get a lot of touring cyclists, but a full-blown tandem? I rather doubt we’ll see too many on the way.DSC00516One small matter – a decent cycle pump. I brought a small one thinking it would be enough. With the size especially of our 2″, knobbly back tyre, dream on – so a huge thank you to the local airport filling station who had, yes, a dedicated bike pump.DSC00527So today we do a bit of sightseeing, and buy some new pedals (front ones cracking nastily), a decent-sized pump, some new cycling shoes (turns out Mark’s brand-new ones are too small – better to find out now on the ride in from the airport than in the middle of the Kauri Forests in Northland…)

And tmmw early morning, we bus via Keri-Keri and Kaitaia right up to the very top, and Cape Reinga for formal departure southward on Monday morning. We were going to take the 90-mile-beach route along the hard low-tide sand, but Steve and Annette recommend sticking to the road. Wise advice. Less danger of drowning or being swallowed up in the sands…

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