Thursday, October 27, 2011
We are sitting eating a load of spaghetti looking out our DOC "blind" to see Kiwi birds come onto the lawn. We have been told it's common although they are so rare now. We are at a place where a man had the foresight to gift to the government 450 hectares of ancient Kauri forest. Today was sunny and pretty simple ride of 40km. Ugh. Two stinky vans are scaring the birds away...don't they realize how rare it is to see a kiwi? Well I guess they've already seen a kiwi at Stewart Island - they are from the Czech Republic on working visa - who needs to see another Kiwi? Nah na na nah naaah!!!
Well that was another long day - 97km in the end. We left Te Hana after the morning fog lifted ( but before we could get the tent dry). The first 24 km or so were busy highway - not much fun. We met another cycle tourist on the road and had a bit of a chat, then we were off again.
We stopped for lunch in Paparoa, and I decided to pull out my foam pad and have a bit of a nap on the picnic table bench while the tent dried in the sun. I met a nice old man walking his dog in the park and asked him where we might be able to fill up our water bottles. He told me to go across the street to the service station and say "Hi Cam, Ted sent me" for water. Nice people, these Kiwis.
We got to Ruawai a bit after that (and after a few more hills that we slogged up and then flew down). Ciel thought that if it was flat and we had a tailwind, we'd make it to Dargaville tonight. Luckily, she was right!
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
We rode from Shona's place in Auckland to just short of Te Hana (near Wellsford) today, a total of 89km according to my cyclocomputer. There were lots of hills though, so it was pretty tough going at times. I put my bike down to get a New Zealand flag that was sitting by the road, and must have bumped the rear derailleur, 'cause the hanger is bent now. I did the best I could to straighten it, but it still isn't shifting well. Oh well, maybe I can do a better job in a day or two.
At least the camping is free...
Monday, October 24, 2011
This horse was handsome. He suggests if you want to see more pics of the trip we did prior to stopping and taking time to smell the flowers... go to https://picasaweb.google.com/113518295346756355329
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Near Whangamata where in the 1870s the telegraph wire was forced to be strung from Thames instead of going direct from Auckland to Wellington. This was due to Maori resistance to the colonists in the Mankato region. Gold was found here but not much. Today there is pressure to mine and the are signs saying "Coromandal 2precious 2mine"
We saw glowworms last night in the mine tunnels located near our camp and the stars were shining in full glory complete with the Magellanic Clouds.
Today is forecasted "fine"
Monday, October 17, 2011
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Friday, October 14, 2011
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
We've never seen an indoor ski hill before, and hadn't even heard of this one. We knew about the one in Dubai, but not Snow Planet, which is just north of Auckland. At NZ$59 for a day pass, it's cheaper than most of the big ski areas in Canada. Now Ciel wants to go skiing, but she'd have to learn how to ski backwards or something, as it isn't very steep!
Monday, October 10, 2011
Met really nice people on our last night on the road in Australia, please direct your browser to www.landrover-nts31.co.uk find out more about their commitment to raise money for the Huntington's Disease Association!
They admire us for riding our bikes around and I admire them! Living with chronic illness is not easy that's for sure but I always am proud to learn of people doing amazing things despite not feeling well.
Friday, October 7, 2011
We got up to Cape Tribulation yesterday. Spent as much time as we could lounging and swimming on the perfect tropical beaches at Noah Beach and Cow Bay. The picture shows the mouth of the Daintree River, which has lots of saltwater crocodiles. See them?
More to follow...
Saturday, October 1, 2011
For those family and friends that want more piccies,
Yesterday we had a bit of a scare when we thought I lost my watch at the beach. It turned up hiding under a foam pad in the tent. We were so relieved at not having to pay for a new watch that we spent the money on a day trip snorkeling on the outer great barrier reef. Rationalization is a wonderful thing sometimes!
We didn't take any pictures underwater, as the rental was as much as buying a waterproof camera back home, but it looked just like the tourist brochures. Lots of colourful fish, bright coral, giant clams, and even a couple of white-tipped reef sharks. They were too small to bite my legs off, luckily. Ciel saw a turtle too! I saw one briefly on Fitzroy, but not at the outer reef. Just lots of weird fish, like swimming in a giant tropical aquarium.