wellington to auckland on an R1200GS BMW in 2008. this time supported by the olds, who were travelling with me, and showing me all the new zealand has to offer
london - northridge, los angeles, california - wellington, new zealand - auckland, new zealand - london
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off shortly, need to pack, looking forward to seeing sandra and ardie soon, then onto nz to see the olds :) spoke to them last night, apparently it's been snowing in the auckland area of the north island!! wow, glad i went for the bmw! have an R1200GS waiting for me to ride up from wellington to auckland over the last 4-5 days, should be amazing, so long as the snow holds off! :) may do a little camping if i can get my tent in la, an msr hubba hubba :)
arrived friday 7.30 after a lng wait through customs. sandra met me at lax. came back, and had a chat over a few beers ardie was kind enough to get in for us. h a good sleep, but was up early the next day. we pottered around the house for an hour or so, and headed out to islnds for a big chilli burger and chillie cheese fries, and spend a few hours looking for a tent! settled on the REI quater dome t2. came back and sandra hit the champage, and i took a call from nancy, and met her at the usual chilis as she was up fro pasendena in northridge to see her mother for mothers day. after a few beers, bed, and up this morning for lunch at mimi's, and then packing, and off to NZ!
arrived nz this morning. long flight! quite tired now. was sad to leave sandra, and the new baby churchill! still, onwards. nearly had my tent and boots confiscated for bio hazard!?!? got a smaller plane down to wellington from auckland. arrived and was picked up by the olds in the pajero. came back to their house. lovely! in the middle of the bush! looking forward to getting the bmw, but will be driving the pajero until then. found out mother is taking her PPL (private pilots license)! will be taking a flying lesson myself later this week! and apparently going up in a sea plan into the glaciers on the way back to auckland! thats all for now!
wow, what can i say. up early, watched the sun rise. didnt sleep so well. went for a walk down on the waterfront, and had a coffee at the local flight school, before taking a cessna up. john took off, showed me hoe to bank left, and then left the rest to me!! flew around kapiti island, and then over the olds house, and then frighteningly, ask me to bank left to face the runway, and land it. LAND IT! he took over once i'd bumped us down, but let me tell you, phuking scary!! to have that much control! went for lunch at the red shack, and then through the back roads to wellington through the mountain roads. had a walk around the city at night, very pretty down on the water front, reminded me of san francisco. commercial, and functional, and recreational, all juxtaposed together. then back home for fish, chips, and ofcourse jd. had a look at the route up to auckland. looks to be a great ride! :)
another very nice day. slept well, left about 11am for the shore, and took the boat out. mother complained constantly ofcourse for fear of hitting a rock / other boat / swimmer / meteor! went around mana island, and back again. out for about 3 hours. brought the "fizz" boat back into dock at the jetty without breaking waynes pride and joy, and spent 15mins getting it back on the tower, as mother conveniently disappeared again during the work. although she did drive it for a little bit. back now after getting a WOF (MOT) for the pajero, and steak and jd awaits :)
its been a very chilled out few days. we have popped into wellington to look for a fleece, which i'm glad i got, can get chilly here in the evenings. but still noce to sit outside in the afternoons, and enjoy the sun set, and listen to the birds. it gets dark here about 6pm. we've also been for a awalk out the back of their place through the bush, up to a big clearing where the overhead high tension lines run. yesterday we went to the motoring museum. cars, bikes planes, boats, all sort from all eras! and some really old indians and harley's to boot. pick the bike up today, so looking forward to that. could be a bit of rain on the journey north, but not til friday by the looks of things. debating now whether to take the boat out again today, or just go out in wellington harbour on one of the tours, as we wont be back till 7.30pm, and have to wash the sea ray down to get rid of the salt water out of the cooling system on it, we'll see...
went out to wellington today. opted to not take the boat, went on the ferry across the bay, had a coffee, and then into the NZ museum in wellington, to read up on the history of the island, the volcanoes, the maori, the settlers, etc... very interesting. wellington and most of the north island sits on a fault line, which is nice to know :) then went to the airport, and met matt, to collect the bike. odd to ride. very high, twitchy, and sounds like a bucket of bolts being shaken around, but lots or torque!! :) will see how it handles on the windy roads north through taupo, hamilton and up to auckland. on the road as of tomorrow, so not sure what internet access will be like, but will keep this posted if i get a chance... via con dios :) j
post trip update
the route taken can be seen above. initially, we headed up the west coast, stopping for our first night on the south side of taupo. this took in some very dramatic views, of not quite dormant volcano craters, and lakes, shores, open space, and ofcourse sheep. after a large meal in a local hotel, I retired to my loft bedroom, after a mad rush for the loo after too much beer, culminating in wayne peeing in the ink in the bathroom. the next morning, was cold, but we were taking a realively short day today, to make rotorua. you know when you are getting close when you can smell farts. the smell of the steamers is very much a rotten egg smell. we made it to rotarua comforatably, and were looking for something stupid to do. after toying with the idea of a bungee, or a parachute jump, we settled on mother taking a mud bath, and wayne and I heading for the skies in a float plane to a very active area north of the lake. after a beautiful flight over the lake, we set down on a river, nearly taking out a waterskier. again, some beautiful views of what look like a lunar landscape, and then back on the plane to meet mother. after a good few beers and lambshank in an irish bar, we staggered back to the hotel we had found ourselves. next day we were on towards hamilton. we tried to find a hotel that was acceptable to mothers high standards, and after visiting several that were wholly inadequate, we made for the first wholly inadequate hotel we saw. parking the bike backwards into a very narrow space on a sideways slope was interesting. and it was then I realised the bmw was just too top heavy. perfect for what it does, but I don’t regulary need to get down the road of bones. so the decision was made. finished the jack daniels that night, and then in the morning, on towards Auckland. typically, the sat nav ran out of batteries on arrival into the maze or motrway bypasses, so it fell to waynes memry to get us to Devonport on the northshore of Auckland. after checking into an extortionately expensive hotel, and nearly dropping my helmet, and consequently the bike too, we went out for dinner. the olds left me to drink and chat with a firefighter, and an island bay park ranger. both had a story to tell, mostly about getting drunk and getting back over the water in the wee hours. the next morning, we had a stroll around Auckland after dropping the bike back, killing time until my flight that evening. in style, it began raining as I entered the airport. not a drop before that… :)
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