I’ve made it to Auckland! How very exciting! It was relatively straight forward getting here with only one or two small bumps in the road. I managed to get the bike all packed into the box with no problems at all. We did have to do a bit of modification to the box to get it to the sizes that Quantas wanted. To get the bike in I deflated the tires, removed the front rack, removed the handle bars and tied them to the frame in the middle. I also took the front wheel off and placed that next to the bike in the box with some bubble wrap around it to give it some protection and finally I removed the derailer as I’ve read these are a bit vulnerable. After it was in the box I placed lots more bubble wrap and cardboard around it to give it a fighting chance and the final bit of decoration was some very fetching fragile stickers! (Applied post picture). In the black bag is three panniers, tent and everything else I think I’ll need and I took one front smaller pannier as hand luggage with the plan to discard the duffle bag when I get to Auckland.
Now the next bit is where I had my first little cock up…you’d think I’d get to New Zealand before that would happen but nope..managed it in Heathrow! I went to check in and my winging it approach caught me out a little, I hadn’t actually managed to weigh all my stuff as time had run out before leaving but my internal scales made me thing I was pretty close to my 30kg limit for the airline. Arriving at the check in desk my bike came in at 20kg on the dot and my bag was 22kg…obviously it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out I’m 12kg over. Ah crap! The lady starts to mention 40 pounds and I think ah that’s not too bad…it then becomes clear that per KG! Shit!! The total damage was 528 quid! Note to self…less winging it and to get internal scales checked!! Bread and water for the first month on the road then!
After the shock of my check in mistake the flights were fairly straight forward. First one to Dubai, second from there to Melbourne and the last from there to Auckland arriving at 5 in the morning. I was in two minds about wether or not to build my bike at the airport when I arrived but when I got to Auckland I was feeling pretty good and the weather wasn’t too bad so in the end I thought why not. First I had to find somewhere to build it and second where to get rid of the box…as I walked out the arrivals hall there was a Novotel hotel starring me in the face so I wondered in and asked if they would mind getting rid of the box for me…no problem! Awesome…so I went back outside and built up my bike. A few good mornings mixed in with the occasional odd look later and the bike was all build and my stuff was loaded up….next stop central Auckland.
Looking at the map the main route in was a motorway which clearly I didn’t want to ride along so I had a look to see if there was an alternative. It looked like there might be a smaller road next to the motorway so maybe that will work. I asked in the hotel but they said it wasn’t possible and it would be better to get a bus. I was pretty sure this other road was there so decided to say thank you and wobbled off to find this smaller road, if I really needed to I could always jump on a bus at another point. I didn’t need to worry as this road was there but it was only for bikes and pedestrians so I guess if you’d always driven you might not know about it. I wondered through different areas of outer Auckland and went through a lovely park called Cornwall park, I grabbed a quick tea and then carried on the rest of the way to the hostel I had booked. I got there at about 10 so had the rest of the day to chill out and take it easy.
I’m here until Saturday so I’m just taking it easy and getting over my jet lag. It’s also given me a chance to explore a little so I’ve checked out where the ferries go from which I might jump on on Saturday to get to the other side of the bay. I went to the maritime museum and just checked out the war museum which was really interesting. Thanks to my sleeping being a bit bonkers I woke up at 4 this morning so decided to walk up mount Eden, I was told it’s a good view point so I thought I might catch a nice sunrise. Unfortunately the weather had different ideas but it was clear enough to get a good view so it wasn’t all lost!
Auckland seems like a really nice city, everyone seems really friendly and theres lots of cool little cafes and bars. There’s also lots of parks and greenery so it has the feel of quite an active city if that makes sense. I’ll be coming back through when I’m on my way back down the country so I’ll do a bit more exploring then. Tomorrow I’m going to get sorted to set off on Saturday. The weather hasn’t been great so fingers crossed it’ll be a bit drier!
Adventure proper starts on Saturday, a rough plan is to head west and up then come back down the east side but as I’ve already proven my winging it isn’t always great so I’ll see how that idea goes and let you know. I’m not sure when I’ll next have wifi but when I do I’ll give you a bit of an update on how life is on the bike and how things are going!