Headwind and awesome views from the tent

After another loaf of bread (but as breakfast this time) we were heading out! Really happy that we met Ana, and that she invited two totally crazy Swedish strangers into her house!


Her daughter has built a beautiful magical village, by the way!


Because of the form of New Zealand, and the mostly constant western winds, we would have pretty good winds on the north island, and probably less good winds on the south island. Thanks to the general direction we had biked so far the winds had been awesome, but this day consisted of mainly headwind.

We spotted a really random park, or whatever it was, consisting of many att projects (or just random stuff people had managed to put there, what do we know). There was a fence and gates around, se we didn’t enter, but had a nice view for lunch!


When we finally arrived at the drop zone in Parakai, they had already closed down for the day. Instead of living ten minutes away, we decided to rent a small box (or room, but more like a box) with a bunk bed in it, as this was much closer to the DZ, and also we could use the internet, do our laundry and use the kitchen in there. There was some nice people too, which is always awesome!

In the morning I went up quite early to try and get my briefing at the drop zone. Even though I was there quite early, about half past eight, I had to wait about two hours before someone had time enough to help me convert my license and show me the landing areas and rental gear. I got a Safir 170, and went up as soon as possible. What they didn’t tell me was that the landing area was a bit wet, which made me pitch a bit early, just to get to a somewhat dryer patch. My pants and shoes still got dirty from the walking, though.

Astrid had a small sleep in, but when she was fully awake, she went shopping, and also cooked lunch! Really awesome.

Meanwhile, I made a second jump with two guys I met. To make it easy, we did a Skydance (more or less three people holding hands, and starting on one side, one person let it go and flies to the other side of the line). I had added a weight belt of four kilos, but I was still too light. We managed to do some rounds, though, and it was lots of fun!


Also, my pants and shoes were clean again, after a minute in free fall and a more planned, and dry, landing.

Those two jumps took a lot of time, and after eating and packing, we departed at around five. There was a road that was supposed to be shorter and closer to the coast, but we had no idea about the quality of the road. We took our chances, and after ten-something kilometres into the woods, we found a locked gate, with the text “forest harvesting – public access forbidden” or something like that. As we are Swedish, we lifted our bikes over the gate, rather than turning around and bike uphill again. It was labour day, and that may have helped, because we saw no-one in twenty kilometres. What we did do was to experience an awesome forest, some sometimes good-sometimes bad roads, and a lot of wild life! I saw at least four rabbits and five deers, and of course there were birds both here and there.


“Bicycles Allowed”-fence, not the “Nothing Allowed”-fence

After getting through two more fences (more like car blocking, but we had to get our bags off), we just had a couple of kilometres to what would be an awesome camping place! Down to beach, where there were supposed to be a camper van area, and we found public toilets and drinking water. There were sand dunes, some beautiful black sand and also a spot that looked like it was made to be ours. Up on a small ”cliff” with a steep wall down to the beach we pitched our tent, with a great view for dinner!




When we were almost done with ours, we saw some germans down at the beach trying to light a fire, but failing. Of course we would be nice enough to help them, and walked down there with our kitchen fuel. It burnt alright!


One of them gave us a good tip about Coromandel, where we were headed next. Awesome!

Skydiving, biking and random invites outside the food store

Jim helped to set us up with the DZ nearby, Ballistic Blondes Skydiving, and we went there to see what price a tandem could be for Astrid, and for me to just make a fun jump. She got a fairly good price, and after my briefing and testing out equipment, Astrid, her tandem instructor, I, a and another jumper with their coach loaded up the small Cessna 206. After a lot of time (compared to my home drop zone), we were up at 11000 feet. It didn’t feel that long, as we had lots of new views to look at!

The jump itself was really nice. Mainly focused on the views, did some turns and pulled pretty high at 5000 feet to get more time flying. I flew a 190 Safire, which was really fast on the turns, but didn’t pitch at all like I’m used to. Did a perfect landning two meters from assigned point, though, so that was awesome.


Astrid was delirious after her tandem. She told me she was pretty cool about it until I jumped off, where she kind started thinking “what the hell am I doing”. She even got to steer the canopy a bit!


Back at Jim’s place, Trem went by. Trem got a small war museum in his house, so we followed him up to take a look. It was astounding!















At five o’clock, Jim and Karin left, as they would go to the US for some wingsuit competition. It was a bit empty after they left, as the time we had spent with them was great! Really lovely people!

With the house empty, we could do what want! Said and done, we made awesome pancakes, added some white wine and watched awesome movies!




Avocado, lemon juice and salt? Damn, that was awesome!

We had planned to leave the day after, but as we went up late and were pretty slow in the morning, we decided to just stay another day, plan better, and talk things through. We also used the day to do some shopping, as we needed a few cables, a SIM-card, a rear light, a bell and some bits and pieces. I also slept through most of the movies we watched, apparently I was pretty tired.

At the 21st, we managed to start biking again. Even though I am pretty sure my bike computer is tens, maybe a few hundreds, of kilometres off, it passed 9000 km this day!


That’s worth a selfie!


When we were going to make lunch, we discovered that we probably forgot my fire steel back at the camping in Waitangi. The lighter we had bought earlier were nowhere to be found, but luckily, we had a food store maybe a hundred meters away, where I bought two lighters and two bananas.

During lunch, there were tons of ducks who seemed really curious about us, or just wanted our food.



This day went fairly easy, and we decided to make a push for it. There was a park in Wellsford located a little bit outside the small town, with a public toilet and all. That seemed perfect for tonight, but would mean we would’ve to do about 90 kilometres in total before arriving there. The winds were gentle, and the road fairly flat, so we did it without a problem! The shopping for food went pretty fun, as both of us were overly tired, and the manager in the store was really nice.

On the outside, we were preparing to bike the last kilometer, when a woman came up to us and told us we could camp at her lawn if we wanted to. That would be awesome, as there would be no problem with police, locked toilets or anything else.

This turned into an awesome night, where we got to sleep inside, used the kitchen, took a shower and had tons of talk about stuff. Instead of getting to bed at nine, I managed o be up until past midnight. She even offered her box of nail polish (and there were tons of them), so I could have something better than my three week old one. Now I got space blue-ish to look at while I’m biking!

Day two of biking, and some Maori history!

It was easier to bike, probably because it was a lot flatter. After maybe 30 kilometres we met a girl who was going to spend half a year in NZ, biking around and experiencing stuff. She told us about a road that was supposed to pretty nice to bike on, kind off flat and all, along Highway 10, instead of Highway 1, where she came from. There had been lots of traffic, and for about 15 kilometres it was not fun at all. We took her advice, as it would only add 9 kilometres over three days, and took a left turn in Awanui after shopping for dinner and breakfast!


Thanks to the turn, we had tail wind, which brought us forward pretty fast. As there were no cous-cous in the store in Awanui, we stopped in Mangonui, bought cous-cous and ate most of the preserved fruit we had bought in China. There were a free camping just three kilometres after the store, but that would set us back around 8 kilometres. Because of that we continued until getting too tired, with another hill in front of us. As wild camping so far had been hard due to all the fences and hills, we knocked on a church where no one opened. There were a house on the opposite side of the road where a man named Wayne let us camp in his garden and use his bathroom. Forgot to take pictures, but the view was amazing, especially with the morning mist in the valley!


The next day, we mostly biked to get to Paihia, close to Waitangi, where the treaty between the British and Maori had been signed in 1840. We thought it would work out to go up there for a visit after the biking, but as the camping was on the way, we checked in and asked about it. At least two or three hours would’ve been needed to actually get something from the visit.

As we wanted to get down to Whangarei, and Jim, by Tuesday evening, we knew we didn’t have time for both. Therefore, we planned to go to the Treaty Grounds the next day for a visit, and then take the bus down to Whangarei.


Campsite for the night

It was pretty early, and there were a BBQ on site, so we decided to try and make ourselves a really nice dinner. After some wandering in the store we had sweet corn, tomatoes, mushrooms, rootbeat, nachos with avocado spread and salsa, olives, pineapple, hummus, a baguette and some wine!

No before pictures, but something in the middle!


The next morning we arrived at the Treaty Grounds at 09.20. There would be a guided tour at 10.00, so we first went to the newly opened museum.


The tour guide spoke about the Maori history, and mainly the treaty, but also discussed about it, to show the problem. The treaty itself had been signed in one Maori version, and one English version, which differed in its meaning.


He also showed us the big war canoes. This particular one could hold a total of 120 people!




The history about the reputation of Russell, earlier also called the Hell Hole of the Pacific, which also was one of the events leading to the treaty, was another thing we got to learn about, with the city in the background.


After the tour it was time for a performance of the traditional Maori dances, beginning with a welcoming ceremony.



They were really skilled in what they did, and the whole performance was a really awesome experience!




After a small history movie in one of the oldest houses of NZ, it was time to get our things at the camping and prepare for the bus ride.


A short journey later, and we arrived in Whangarei again. As we were in a city, we tried to get me a new bell (which was too small for my handlebar) and see if someone could repair my speaker (which is turning the sound itself off every now and then, but maintains connection). None of those were a success, and we biked to Jim’s place. First, we wen’t to his neighbour (same looking car) before getting to the right place! It was an awesome evening, making “real food” for dinner (chick peas and sweet potatoes with curry, coconut milk, sweet corn and onion) and some wine, and a real nice chat with Jim again! This time we also got to finally meet his wife, Karin!

Getting to the northwesternmost point, and starting the ride down

After a slow flight, but with the right sort of food (although really disgusting according to Astrid, who doesn’t long for neither the flight home nor China) we were able to get our visa, and soon thereafter all our baggage. My bell was missing, and Astrids front brake disc was bent, but apart from that the bicycles were in good condition. We took the brake disc off and started our first trip.


Through a lovey of mine we hade gotten a place to stay at in Auckland for our first night. With approximately 21 kilometres to get there, it didn’t take too long, even though we had to add two kilometres because of taking the wrong turn twice.

When getting there, we got tea, a hot shower, washed our clothes, dinner and a nice chat. We had some things to plan and were pretty jet lagged, but managed to get to bed at 02.00 AM.

Up again at 08.00 to shop for a brake disc and some USB chargers fitting the New Zeeland outlets, and then to the bus. At 10.30 we left Auckland to get to Wharangei, where a skydiver would meet us. He had even offered to drive us all the way up to Cape Reinga, which would fulfil our wish to start in the north. Astrid was really tired, and slept most of the bus ride, and also most of the drive up from Wharangei.


En route to Cape Reinga we stopped for methylated spirits and food, so that we could cook ourselves dinner, breakfast and lunch.

Jim let us off, and hopefully we’ll be able to visit him on the way down and, if the weather and timing is alright, do a skydive or two. We’ll see about that on Wednesday!

We set up camp and started making dinner. Being the northwesternmost point of New Zealand, it was really windy, with winds mainly from the west. It was steep on either side, and we were really careful when putting our tent up.

We managed a marvellous dinner and a bottle of wine, with a beautiful sunset. The night photos were also really cool.


I (Jackiie) went upp quarter past six to try and get some nice photos of the sunrise. Clouds were in the way most of the time, but a lot of the photos were really good!


After waking Astrid up, eating breakfast and getting all the gear together, we started biking at 09.30. The start would be more hilly than the end of the day, and with the wind strong in the side it was pretty hard to start with. Soon the road was going mainly south-south-east, which gave us a lot of tailwind. The few times we had headwind was terrible, though.

We managed 35 kilometres with one big break before making lunch. It was not that easy, as we didn’t have a can opener, but stones worked good enough!


Finally arriving at our planned destination, Pukenui, we special ordered vegan pizza before going into the small supermarket for shopping. Both of us were exhausted, even though I have been biking a lot more than Astrid, as I took the front position for the whole day. That, plus the hills, makes my body scream.

As a shower and internet seemed nice, we went to a camping nearby. It was really refreshing with a shower, and I got the chance to look through all the pictures form last night and this morning. Beautiful!

Let’s just hope we manage do this for three more days, and then a planned rest awaits us!

Biking across New Zealand

It’s time for a new trip, and it will be awesome!


Astrid and I have planned a trip across New Zealand. We will bring our own bicycles, fly to Auckland , hopefully get to Cape Reinga and bike as far south as possible. The photo opportunities, the sceneries and the camping spots will be awesome, and I’m looking forward to some marvellous skydives!


Thanks to Tobbe and Emily, we had an easy trip to Arlanda.We were there four and a half hour before the flight would leave, as we had special baggage to check in all that. After some walking back and forth (check-in on one place, get papers for the baggage on another, pay at a third, back to the second and then letting the baggage in at a fourth place) we were finished, with about two hours before the flight would leave.


Somehow the airline had fucked up our food ordering, and there were no veggie food for us on the plane. We managed to get something, at least, consisting of mainly bread, and a little bit of fruit. We watched movies, and managed to sleep for a few hours, before arriving in Beijing, China. There would be a long 14-hour wait until the next plane would leave for New Zealand, and we decided to leave the airport to do some sightseeing! It was fairly easy to get a 24-hour visa, and after exiting, a guy came up to us while we were waiting to withdraw cash. Because of the tiredness, and just having landed, we followed him. It may have been a bit expensive, but he made everything really easy, including a taxi ride consisting of sleeping for one and a half hours.


We took the cable cars up to the wall, and walked for a bit, until we felt really tired. I have never been astounded by monuments and such, and neither this time. Now we’ve been there at least, and managed to kill some time!


Back at the airport at around five, with seven hours until boarding, we took a two hour nap, went to a restaurant, made some shopping of decorations for the handlebar bags and a some fresh fruit and talked with some personell to assure ourselves that we would maybe get the right kind of food this time.


In 14 hours we should be on our bikes, on our way to the first planned visit!

Getting back home

After a nice week with good weather at Gotland, lots of partying and some minor adventures, it was finally time to go home.


I had booked the late ferry at 1920, as I wanted to be sure to be ready with everything before leaving. That showed to me a mistake, as I would be home after midnight…

I managed to grab a “reserve ticket” for the earlier ferry at 1600, well worth the money. As most of my friends were traveling with that one, I didn’t have to go alone, and I also got home a lot earlier, being home at 2115. A friend of mine gave me a tip before leaving the ferry, as of which road to choose. I drove towards Eskilstuna instead of passing by Stockholm, which gave me some curvy roads, and really beautiful nature!

After a total of 5366 kilometres, I was at home again!DSC_0501.jpg

On the boat!

Not much happened this day either. I drove up the the west coast of Lithuania, and made my way into Latvia. This day my motorcycle passed 55555 km!


I arrived four hours before the boat were supposed to leave, and had a nice dinner at a nearby restaurant I found through Trip Advisor.


Waiting to board, I met a motorcycle guy who was going back to Norway, where he worked. He was going to cross Sweden on his Bandit the day after, and then further north in Norway.

My next destination was Nynäshamn, where I would switch ferry to go to Gotland Wednesday-Sunday!

Driving north

I stayed in bed as long as possible, as I was not able to drive at nine o’clock. They let me check out and chill in the chill area, where I met the people from yesterday again. They were going out for food, so I hanged out with them until all of us drivers were ready to drive, and so, we split.

As the boat was going the day after, close to midnight, I had time. After getting tired, I just tried to find a cheap place to stay at. I found a hotel, which at first didn’t look too promising. The one working there were pretty scabby, playing at the slot machine and smoking indoors while her son did his homework in the restaurant. The room were fresh, though, and pretty cheap, so I stayed there. I had about 500 kilometres left, and a whole day, so I took my time to plan the route a bit, as I could spend the time on trying to drive nice roads.


Bad roads with those tires

The guy I went out to eat pizza with told me about a really good hostel in Warsaw. As I had one extra day, I thought I would spend it there, and try it out!

There would be a short ride to Warsaw, and I decided to try to find funnier roads. I put my GPS to choose the curviest roads, and also allowed it to choose gravel roads, as those could be fun. What could have been a two hour ride would be far longer…

It had been raining a bit before, and my tires aren’t good for mud. Not god at all. Here follows some nice pictures as proof of that!


As you can see on the first picture, I got “stuck” in the small ditch close to the middle. Suddenly, the front tire grip on to something, and the whole thing took a small jump. No damages!

I was pretty close to do the same thing later, but instead of walls, there were slopes on the sides, which would have been hard to get up from. Scary!

After some asphalt, the GPS wanted me to turn up onto a really small road. It looked like an adventure, and I wanted to test. When the trees were increasing, the road were getting muddier, as the sun hadn’t been able to dry it up. I spent around half an hour getting up a slope being maybe 250 metres long.


As the cooling fan had stopped working thousand of kilometres ago, it was overheating while working my way up, and I had to take a pause half way up, which gave me some sweet pictures!


When actually getting out of all this, I took away the possibilities of gravel roads. I ate some snickers, and went on.

I had some problems finding the hostel, which were 20 metres from where I had parked. I went into it to take a look, and the first impression was really good! The name was Oki Doki hostel, and it had really cool design. I got to live in the communist room, and of course chose the left bed.😉


I met another girl on the hostel, who had just arrived. She was going out to explore the city, so I followed her instead of just staying at the hostel. The adventure resulted in two ice creams, some thai food and a really long bridge!

Close to the old city, there were a band of bagpipes playing. Really nice!

In the evening, I met up with the girl, some Irish, some Australians and a mix of other people in the bar. It was awesome talking to them, and we went out later in the evening. As usual, I found people to talk with on the way, and lost them after maybe 20 minutes. After some adventures I went home to sleep at half past one, as I needed to continue driving the next day. I’m really glad I got the tip about this hostel!

Back into EU

It was time to leave Kiev, and this pretty awesome room I had been staying in!


It would be a day consisting of driving, with the plan to at least go a few kilometres into Poland. I wanted to be on the right side of the border if anything would take extra time.


Before leaving Ukraine, I went into some small random village to buy cheap spirits. The village I went into seemed to have never seen any tourists before, and some children were standing, just looking at my motorcycle, while I was shopping and packing. I found this probably really fake bottle, but I really liked the label!


I also tried to see if I could find a good brand battery for the motorcycle, but they only had local brands wherever I went.

At the border it was the same thing again, with the officers just telling me to go past all the cars. With the panniers, it was a tight fit, but I managed! 


They asked me about the contents in my panniers, and I just told them ”sleeping gear”, and they let me through.

In the evening I arrived in Lublin, where I found a hostel. I went out to grab a pizza with a guy from the hostel, but the part of the city we lived in and went through didn’t look all too fun.