Who said kiwis can’t fly?

I went to Skydiwing Kiwis, where they were on a weather brake. It was supposed to get better, and I didn’t want to chase jumps or anything, so I was glad anyway. There was an airplane museum next door, and for ten dollars it felt worth it.

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The coolest part was the story about Juliet Delta 321, a C-130 Hercules which crash landed, and was buried, in Antarctica. They dug it up, made a few small repairs and flew it away, 15 years later!

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When I was done with the first hangar, the weather looked better, and when I went back I was put on a lift pretty soon. I made a Skydance, and we were well on level and all!

After the first jump I heard someone telling someone else he was Swedish, and so I met Viktor, who was travelling around, sometimes doing pack jobs, and right now doing labour work in Christchurch!

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I made another jump in the afternoon, and continued my relaxed day. When I asked about places to camp at I got a tip about a place nearby. There were even toilets, so and being 150 metres away from the drop zone, it was a good location!

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With the sky night being rather dark, I tried some astrophotography, but with those settings, I failed pretty hard.

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I woke up to the sound of airplanes, and when looking out of my tent, I saw a few canopies flying around up there.

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After another jump, I take a look at the second, and much bigger, hangar of the museum. The DC3 was nice!

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With the service hours running out, they made some tandem only lifts before letting sport jumpers jump again. I made my fourth, and last, at this drop zone, doing a high pull, cruising around and looking at the views. It is beautiful at those drop zones!

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We went shopping when the day was over, and had a BBQ, including some mushrooms they had found by the runway and landing area. I got to try and speak Spanish with another guest jumper, and it went so-so, including google translate!

The late evening was spent at Lee and Sophie’s place, where most people went into the bubble bath. I was still really tired and went to bed fairly early instead. This drop zone gave me the closest feeling to being at a Swedish drop zone so far, really neat!

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So many photos! (179 in total…)

I woke up 08.30, even though the alarm was set at 09.00. The reason: It was too warm, and too bright!

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In that moment I was so happy. I just put everything outside, and most things were dry before I had the time to eat breakfast! Which took a rather long time…

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When I pitched my tent, everything was rather shitty, even the views. Upon waking up, I realised everything was rather beautiful in the brighter weather. Actually the most beautiful place on New Zealand I had visited so far. If it wasn’t because of the head wind, I would have biked through it, and most of the places I would stay at the next coming 15 kilometres.

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I refilled my water bottles from the small stream, and started biking in shorts, with a nice tailwind. The whole day, 82 kilometres, would consist of slightly downhill, apart from 6.5 kilometres. Everything was just plain awesome.

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The views made me stop so often, so the first 15 kilometers took about two-three hours. I have a lot of editing to do, and I probably weren’t able to capture the real beauty. You get the point, though, and can hopefully imagine the rest!

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Another perfect thing about my location was the lack of vehicles. Almost no one would like to drive on this road, when there were another one, as this one was pretty steep on it’s places, and only gravel. I loved it.

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Suddenly, the gravel road turned into asphalt. I would still go on another gravel road, as it would again be less kilometres and less cars, but it was nice for now. I almost hurt myself, though; while rolling down hill, I heard a strange noise close to my rear wheel. I looked at it, looked up, and saw that I was on my way to the shoulder. I went off, and went through the grassy side in about 40 kilometres per hour, and I stood up to use my legs as shockers, and held the handlebar as hard as possibly, yet firmly, to not let the bike or front wheel make any jump or fall over. Everything went well, but the insight right after was pretty ugly. The scenery was still nice, though!

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After biking behind a few sheep who had gotten out from their pasture, and riding down the Zig Zag Road, I had lunch (raisins, almonds and crackers to save time, as the photography had taken so long) close to a river. I was out on normal roads again, and it would be asphalt the rest of the way.

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In Methven (which always makes me think ”Meth Haven”) I looked up places to stay at. After the wet days a shower and washing machine would be nice, and I sent out a few couch surfing requests.

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I got an answer, from a lovely person who already hosted someone else, but could let me pitch my tent in their garden. Their other guest made dinner (accidentally vegan), which was more than enough for all four of as (a really charming child, as well as us two guests and the host). I went out to do the shopping needed, washed my clothes and took a shower. Really nice after that last few days adventures!

Shittiest day so far

This was supposed to be a really easy day. No real climbing, more or less flat for the whole day and the more food I ate, the less I had to carry. Too bad the weather didn’t like me.

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I slept on the bench to the right!

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A goodbye to my new friends, and I started packing my stuff.

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It started really well. Tailwind, fast speeds. Little to no rain. Suddenly, I was doing 12 km/h. Downhill. And damn, I had to push.

In the smallest of uphills, I was down at 5 km/h. I really didn’t get nowhere. It had started to rain pretty bad, and I was soaked. Everything was cold. I was so glad I had those extra gloves, otherwise it would have been even worse.

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On the flat part I did 7 km/h. A lady even stopped and asked me about hypothermia. She told me to take it really easy, and take care of myself. There was a café just a kilometre ahead, and I was already aiming at that one.

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Most pictures will look pretty boring today, and of course I could edit them like this, making everything look nice, magical and edited. Wouldn’t reflect the trip, though.

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At this point I had actually done 32 kilometres. There was an open fire here as well, and they seemed like they wanted to help me. They didn’t sell any food, but didn’t mind me eating my own in there, so I bought a pot of tea and sat as close as possible to the fire to dry up. Sat there maybe an hour.

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I decide to continue, and still though it was possible to do my 75 kilometres.

Suddenly, a short, but steep, uphill. I really wanted to hitchhike, but it was a bad spot for anyone to stop at, and I pushed myself to get up there. I really had zero energy.

The downhill was pretty shielded from the wind, and it felt good for a while, and even the flat stretch afterwards went on in 15 km/h. I knew this would only be for a couple of hundred metres, though.

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Being cold and all, I still loved the sights.

I checked my phone, which soon turned itself off, probably because of the cold weather. At that point I put my thumb out, and soon a camper van stopped to pick me up. At this point I had done 6 kilometres since the café, but now I was exhausted, and even colder.

They were an Australian couple, with some friends in another camper van, and they all were going to Springfield. According to the thermometer it was 4 degrees celsius outside, and it would be warmer at the lower level Springfield would be at. I didn’t want to change my plan, though, and after about 17 kilometres they dropped me off where the road was turning to the east, at the corner of Lake Lyndon. We drank a cup of tea together, and I got a package of rise crackers, which I ate before I continued. I also put my fleece on. Kind off a bad decision, as my rain gear still let too much water through, but I was too cold.

The road I wanted to ride was a gravel road, which even was closed. I didn’t really mind that part, though, and would just be happy without all the cars.

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I didn’t make it too far, though. After another 4 kilometre, with a small mountain shielding me from the worst rain and hail, I saw how it stormed around the corner. I already had problems getting anywhere at all, and at this point I was ready to risk a fine at 200 NZD. The risk of hypothermia felt pretty high, and I was actually a bit afraid, and I was really unsure of what would happen if I crossed that corner and continued. Pitched the tent, and kept myself moving around, fixing whatever needed to be fixed for the night. The tent was still wet since every day I used it the last week, of course.

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I kept my thermal underwear on me, to hopefully make it kind off dry before going to bed. No energy to cook anything, and just wanted to keep the tent close, I ate crackers with jam, peanuts and raisins as dinner.

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Made some sit-ups every now and then to get my heat up. The sound from the outside was really high, as the storm continued. It hailed every now and then, and when I went to the bathroom, of course.

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I had a merino t-shirt, my thermal underwear, my warm socks, two buffs and a totally closed sleeping bag. That, plus earbuds, as the sound, and sudden shakes of the tent, made it really hard to sleep. I woke up a few times feeling bit cold, but thanks to not getting a new sleeping bag, and using my -9°C T-lim sleeping bag, I was mostly warm, even though everything was more or less wet.

Passing that pass!

It was still raining outside, but as the sun rose, I woke up. Really should learn to use a blindfold or something…

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While eating breakfast in my tent, there were two trucks coming by dumping a big stone pile. They didn’t care too much about me or my tent, though.

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After two and a half hour I was done. The rain slows everything down, and makes the mood lower a bit, as well. Still not too late!

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I managed to go 30 kilometres before the first stop, which would be consisting of eating more crackers and olives. I had a good view of a few waterfalls on the other side of the river!

The rain continued every now and then, and my not-too-good rain gear let all the water through. I found a café I decided to take a break at, as they offered tea and an open fire!

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I bought french fries as well, not wanting to get my kitchen out in the rain. In the end I sat there for 1.5 hours…

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One of the reasons were all the things to look at! The owner was a kind of collector, so there were all different sorts of stuff in there! The rooms were styled in an old fashion, looking really fancy. I almost asked how much a night would be, not really tempted by the weather outside.

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Soon after the cafe the steep part would start. I had to stand up and pedal at a few parts, and took pauses every now and then. I even found a pretty flat part where I didn’t need to use my brakes too much…

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About twenty minutes later, I had biked another 500 metres, and found a real resting stop. The reason it took so long was easy; already tired, and 16% steepness. Damn, it went slow.

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There, some americans started talking to me, while waiting for their car to cool down. They offered me a lift up the hill, and I told them I’ve done this before, and actually quite enjoy it. They seemed like cool people, and were going to the same camping as me, and they told me to find them when I got there!

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Soon I arrived at the top of the pass. This picture is meant to try and show what the body feels like after a climb. It’s hard to express the happy feelings when being tired like that!

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It didn’t really help when everything was wet. I just hoped my panniers would keep the water out; I had rolled them as many turns as possible, especially the right bag, containing electronics and sleeping gear.

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When I started going downward, the wind made me aware of the cold air, and my lack of gloves. As soon as I entered a village I stopped at a hostel and asked about gloves, but all the places were closed, and they wouldn’t sell me theirs. I went to the other side of the street instead, where a man sat in what looked like a craftsman car. He had a pair of gloves he could give me for free, and suddenly the hands felt a bit warmer. Still cold, though, but so thankful for that stranger’s help!

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Picture may be taken at another date; I did not have a bed that night.

They were rebuilding the roads, so I had to stop at a red light for a while. Suddenly the americans caught up again! They were two cars, and the other had already gone to a camping place. The planned one was supposed to have a greater view, but the weather being all grey and cloudy, and another camping having a neat fire place, they changed place. They were actually going to go and get me, but now they didn’t have to! After showing me where the camping was at (just about 2 kilometres further) they handled me a bottle of rum for a quick sip before the light turned to green and we all pushed on.

Upon arriving, I greeted all of the ones I hadn’t already met. They were six american friends travelling together, five of them going to stay in New Zealand for a longer time, working. They had the fire almost going, and at least giving of some heat, even though most of the fire wood was almost wet. As I sat down, my body was literally steaming, but it didn’t get captured on picture…

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I changed my clothes, and ate a huge amount of couscous, around 4 decilitres, with tons of raisins and almost. The fire place was surrounded by three walls and a roof, so right now I had company, warmth, help, a roof and wind cover, and actually a bench to sleep at instead of pitching my too wet tent. And I made it over the pass! Awesome!

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Heino again!

I even got treated breakfast, and it was a nice change to the loaf of bread I was usually eating. Weet-Bix with orange juice and homemade rhubarb cream, which was delicious!

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Tomorrow I would climb Arthur’s pass, and today I would just get around 70 kilometres, and refill my food stock, as I wouldn’t  pass by a store in about four days. From Michaels house to Ashburton it was around 280 kilometres, which would give me a good average of 70 per day, with the second they being the toughest with the uphill.

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On the way to Greymouth I biked past quite a few really nice views. The weather really made everything look more mystique and beautiful!

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I even had a plenty good tailwind most of the ride. As I arrived in Greymouth, I needed to get better bungee cords as well, and the fuel for my kitchen was running out. I also wanted to change my pedals to ones who would be better to use when climbing steep roads, as those SPD+flat-pedals were pretty small, and I never use the SPD-side.

As I approached the bicycle store, I recognise a bicycle, which looks pretty empty, though. When I got closer I was sure – it was Heino’s bicycle! His multiple years old thermarest had gone bad, and he was buying a new one in the store next to the bicycle shop. We decided to eat lunch together, and I went to get new pedals.

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This is how the bicycle looks like since I got the extra backpack on top, some fuel that didn’t fit my fuel bottle and all free spaces full with food

After shopping for food, fuel any bungee cords as well, we found a small green corner with a bench where we ate our lunch. I ate beans and olives, Heino some yoghurt and stuff. After lunch there was a guy biking over the bridge in front of us, apparently being a Danish guy biking around!

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New pedals!

A good bye to the Danish and Heino, and I continued this day’s ride. Even though I went more easterly, I still had tail winds pushing me further! As I left the coast, I initiated a small climb, which would be nothing compared to tomorrow. On the way I saw this fence, full of shoes…

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As I was close to where I wanted to stay the night, I remembered it was time to send home a few things… there was a petrol station, closing in just thirty minutes, where I could print some stuff and send it away with their postal service. Good timing!

I spent another hour outside, eating olives, crackers with jam and surfing the internet, waiting for it to get darker, before biking a few kilometres more. There was a small side road with a great place to pitch my tent at, right next to the railway. I thought they didn’t use it too much, but I had great timing going to the bathroom when a train passed by in 20 kilometres per hour…

After refilling water in a house nearby, and tightening my pedal as it was making strange noises, I went to bed, prepared for tomorrow.

“Resting day”

I woke up as Heino was already awake and up, and when I asked him about the dream/the cows/the earthquake, he told me it was for real. Such an experience, I just wish I had been more awake!

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This would be my resting day, so I was thinking of making an 8 kilometres walking trip in the area, and to visit the Pancake Rocks and the caves. When we were already packed up, Michael came back to meet us in the morning. He informed us about the earthquake (the americans says it was 7.8 – lucky for us, on the east coast, north of Christchurch). I asked him about staying at his place tonight, as we spoke about it yesterday, and he was living 10 kilometres south. Would be a good place to stay at, and getting in the right direction!

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Hir Surly!

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And the horses!

So I went up to the information centre, logged into Facebook, replied to people asking if I was dead and asked about leaving my bags there during the day. The first stop afterwards would be the Pancake Rocks, on the opposite side of the road!

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Apparently they formed 30 million years ago, from dead animals and plants 2 kilometres below the surface. When high tide and rough sea there would be water sprouting up from them, but it was pretty calm when I was there. Still an extraordinary view.

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The next destination would be down hill just north of the information centre. It was a cool visit, and I met some americans in there as well.

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My next plan was to do the walk along the Pororari river, and then continuing on the Inland Pack Track back to the road. It was in total eleven kilometres, but I figured I would be able to hitchhike back to the start.

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I stopped for lunch and bathroom break at the Punakaiki Tavern, and left my bicycle outside as I started the walk. It was supposed to take a total of three hours, with the first part being 1 hour 15 minutes; I arrived at the junction after 45 minutes already. Halfway through I felt something in my bad right knee, but it went away again.

After the junction it took much longer time. As I didn’t bring a water bottle to save weight, I stopped by a small stream to drink some water.

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It started to rain, but as I didn’t want to carry it all around, I had left my rain jacket as well. Not a problem, though; as long as I moved, I was keeping more than warm!

When reaching what would be the highest point of the track, I saw what looked like a kind of track going even higher. My curiosity didn’t let my walk away, and I started walking, almost climbing, through bushes, trees and above stones. It went really slow, being a pretty thick forest, but I managed! It was not possibly to get a good view, though; too many trees, and too cloudy.

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On my way back to the track I managed to almost lose myself. I certainly didn’t walk the same way, at least. It was lots of fun!

I think I could see the place where we camped the night before. You would need high resolution pictures and zoom in to see anything, but there it is!

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After completing the rest of the walk, and walking out the same path I biked out this morning, same horses and all, I was at the road again. I didn’t want to walk on asphalt, and after reaching my thumb out, the first car passing by stopped to pick me up. They were one Norwegian and two Finnish girls, so suddenly we had a Scandinavian road trip! They were actually only going two kilometres farther than where I had left my bike, but it was perfect for me!

I biked to the information centre, loaded my bike and started the short trip to Michaels place. It ended with a really steep road up to the house, but that would give me a nice view from the room I would be staying in, as well as the howling sound of the small storm going on outside.

It was a really pleasant evening, and I got time to update my blog and start looking into what petrol kitchen I would get, as I would travel up to the northern part of Sweden for one week just one and a half weeks after arriving at home.

Michaels parents treated me vegan dinner as well, and eating something made in a real kitchen was amazing! Potatoes made in the oven together with a chick pea salad, and something I still don’t know the Swedish name of (if you are reading this, Michael, please tell me English word of the vegetable/whatever it was)! After yesterdays earthquake, there were still some aftershocks, which made the whole house wobble a bit.

Earthquake!!!

As I was leaving the backpackers, the manager told me about a road he thought I should take, as I would be able to visit a seal colony as well. It was another 20 kilometres, but whenever I get a tip like that, I feel like I would miss out if I skipped it. 20 extra it was!

When I arrived out there I noticed my rear wheel was going a bit soft. I thought it could be a flat, but decided to wait until after the seal colony, so I would be sure as well.

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It was a beautiful walk to the seal colony, and upon arriving, there were a few seals as well. I met a photographer who was travelling mainly to take photos, and exchanged a few words with him. I would never be able to wait with editing my photos until I come home; that way I would just continue postponing it (looking at you, photos from the Kirghizistan trip).

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The tire was flat when I came back, and I began the tube change. It was a small plastic spike which had gone through the tire. I noticed a lot of cracks and tears as well; probably back from the Maungatapu track.

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I set off again with my aim set at Punakaiki. I had the mountains on my left and the sea on my right; it was a beautiful view, especially for taking a pause.

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I climbed what would hopefully me my last climb today, and gazed back at the road. It was beautiful all right!

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After adding layers of clothing I started going downhill. Suddenly I saw two people at a resting point in the middle, and one bicycle with lots of gear. Had to stop and speak with them!

The bicycle fitted with panniers and what not was owned by a German living in France, Heino, who had been biking for thirteen months, I think. The other person had a bicycle as well, with two almost empty rear panniers, and it looked like brand new! The guy owning it was Michael, and the bicycle was more than a year old, but well taken care of. His aim was to do a trip, but he didn’t know when. Also, his cycle was a Surly Disc Trucker, just like mine, from the same year (the same red colour), with a few small differences. He had 700c wheels, and some things were probably just from another batch, but otherwise identical!

I sat down and spoke to them, and this was the German the Polish people had told me about. The Kiwi told us abut a good wild camping spot, and as I hadn’t wild camped nearly anything so far, it sounded like a great idea. The spot was close to a river with drinkable water, and a beautiful view of the gorge. Michael stayed with us for a few hours while we set camp and ate dinner. There were horses walking around freely, but they would probably keep their distance. I was really tired from not having had time to sleep as much as I wanted to the last days, and went by bed earlier than the others. It was a neat evening!

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Suddenly I woke up, with the tent, and me as well, shaking! I was really newly awake, and I was sure it was a bunch of cows shaking and/or eating at my tent! I said something to the others, not sure of what, and as it stopped, I went back to bed. It was an earthquake!

Astrid flying home and me meeting cyclists

The weather was kind of shitty when we went to the airport. The check-in didn’t go too smooth, as we first got the answer that you didn’t need a box for the bicycle, and later they told us you would. Lucky enough, there were two guys who had just arrived who had a bicycle box. I think their plan was to save it, but they had time to get a new one and gave us theirs.

The airplane was delayed, as many others. It was  pretty close that all went to hell; the airplane Astrid would fly with was the last to land at the airport. As the clouds were really low and the weather shitty those small airplanes couldn’t land, and all the other airplanes were redirected to other airports.

After knowing Astrid had gone through the gate, I biked to the city to have a fika with someone I chatted a bit with earlier. It was nice and well-needed at the moment, and I didn’t feel like stressing about the kilometres, as I was a bit behind schedule anyway.

It was northerly winds, and strong ones, giving me a good push. Maybe too good, as I was passing cars in my bicycle lane, and the traffic went real slow. Someone was turning left, looking for an entrance to a company, and I didn’t have time to react, which made me bump into him in pretty high speed. The bag took most of the hit, and I wasn’t even sore anywhere; I felt a little above my right hip, but nothing more. He didn’t drive away at least, and not really feeling there were anything more to do than checking my gear, I told him to take a better look next time (I had a high visibility vest and helmet) and started biking again. Later I saw I had a 0.5 centimetre rip in my bag, but nothing I really cared about. All the gear inside was okay!

I made a stop at a bicycle shop I passed by, as I have wanted a mirror for my right side as well, but haven’t been able to find one so far. They had an actually good one, and I felt it was a bit expensive, but after using it for a while I know it was a really good investment! I also stopped to refill food, and when I came out again it started to rain a little. I continued. 

Even though I had started as late as 15.30 I had already done 45 kilometres, much thanks to the wind helping me push a bit. I did meet another bicycle tourer on the way, a guy from Quebec, Canada, who was going the other way. He had strong headwind but aimed at 160 kilometres; he had less than two weeks to go from Invercargill to Picton, so he was biking a lot. His gear was sparse, probably only what he really needed.

In Wakefield I decided to try and hitchhike instead of stressing trying to cover enough kilometres the next coming days. I gave it 20 minutes, but after about 10 I decided to go a few hundred metres down the road, as there were people turning in an intersection and coming out of it as well, and I could cover more from the other position. While biking there I saw a car waving to me; they had seen me, and had a trailer, but needed to turn around. Easy as usual! They were going to Murchison, which would shave off about 100 kilometres, and save me a day. The rain started pouring down as well, and the road wasn’t too wide, so it seemed like I had chosen the right thing to do.

When checking for places to stay at I saw there was a Warmshowers host about 16 kilometres after Murchison. He had built a small camping which was free for people using Warmshowers, but they didn’t have any coverage out there, and had written you could just appear and hope for the best. That’s exactly what I did, and they were home!

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After pitching my tent I borrowed the shower to get clean, but more importantly, to get warmer. Everything I was wearing was pretty wet, and my 15 year old rain gear don’t really have it anymore.

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On my last bicycle trip I had stayed at a place right before Andorra, which probably was the coolest home I had stayed at through Warmshowers. This place reminded me of it so much; outdoor shower, just a small indoor home, and a nice view!

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The evening was really nice, I cooked my dinner any we spent the rest of the evening talking about everything; my transition, how peoples prejudice affect their views of other people regarding gender, if it would be a good or bad idea to let robots do all the jobs no one wants to do and have a standard salary for everyone, making work optional, and lots more. I went to bed too late, but totally worth it.

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I slept in a bit longer than usual, and fixed a few things on the bicycle before I left. A had put the mirror down on the fork, but I didn’t see enough, and put it on the right side of the handlebar, which would be a much better position. I also put my extra rear light on my helmet, so I would be more visible in the dark, or when it was raining.

Some of the spots I passed by were really cool, and I stopped to take pictures at a few of them. It looks like they’ll have to do something in the future, or the road will disappear!

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I was starting to think of lunch, but though It could to ten kilometres more, to have less in the afternoon. When ascending a hill I saw two people with bicycles sitting and making food at the resting area, and of course I couldn’t miss the chance to speak with them! Every time I have seen bicycle people, but not stopped to speak with them, I have grieved afterwards. It is usually when I have a good speed and don’t really have time to think, and suddenly the chance is gone. Now, they couldn’t flee, though!

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They were two polish people who had been out for the last two years. They had actually met the Swedish girl, Fredrika Ek, who is biking around the world! They had even met her twice, but missed her this time, as she had already left. I had been biking in the same country as her without even knowing!

While we were sitting there a new friend of theirs, from Switzerland, biked by and said hi as well. She seemed to be a bit in a hurry though, and soon continued. They also told me about a German who was living in France, who I would probably meet later as I was biking faster. So many bicycle tourers on the south island!

As their money was running out, New Zealand would be their last country before flying home. I do think their plan was to save up and get out again, though.

When I arrived in Westport, which would be my destination for the day, the bicycle computer turned over to 10000 kilometres! That is 1 690 kilometres done home while commuting, and a total of 8 310 kilometres done touring! Hopefully I’ll reach another 0 in not too many years.

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I decided to celebrate this and make it comfortable for, and for the first time this trip I paid to sleep indoors. I also bought a bottle of wine and a quarter kilo of chocolate to have after dinner. At the backpackers I stay at there were two more people in my room, and one of them had been bicycle touring bit around Europe!

The evening was really relaxed, with a long, hot shower, kind off nice dinner, a good chocolate desert, some wine and Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers! As usual, I went to bed too late.

Behind the mask, not everything is well

I’ve never been very good at expressing any negative feelings through this blog. If it’s because I am afraid that people will think it’s boring, or because I don’t want to show that side, I don’t know. Maybe I’ll start doing just that.

Astrid and I have split. It didn’t work out travelling together, with different mindsets and all. We have tried talking things through, but it didn’t work, and none of us felt good about the trip. Of course there were moments that were good, and moments that were awesome, but too much of the time it would just eat at us, and our friendship.

Following this, Astrid flew home as of yesterday. I will continue travelling alone, which sadly is what has worked best for me so far. The blog will continue, covering before yesterday and onward as usual.