|I learned quickly that mileage does not mean anything in New Zealand. Wind (as in 60mph gusts) and terrain (like a 3k 16% Arthurs pass) are the deciding factors.|
|Kaikoura – our start location (nope, the picture is not color-enhanced)|
|A sign on the backpack that got us our first sleep arrangement.|
|Corrugated steel as roof and plastic as walls|
|View from the “bathroom”|
|Grocery shoppingbefore heading to the host house.
Food dangling in front of my nose while riding the last few miles – dangerous!
|My attire for the supermarket when everything else was getting washed.|
|Cooking after the ride. Don’t need to say how big the portions were.|
After a rainy day near Murchison, I found my absolute favorite cycling route: The 100k coastal route from Westport to Greymouth.
|Mountains and beach – so much to see.|
|Surrounded by surreal vegetation|
Next on the agenda was the notorious climb up to Arthur’s Pass. 16% grade for 3km. Loved it!
Our final ride from Arthurs Pass back to Christchurch lead us from wet and mountainous terrain to dry and sunny flats. That’s New Zealand! Change of scenery, vegetation, weather and terrain within a very short distance.
- I have posted all my road cycling rides in New Zealand on Map My Ride. (Not sure how to share them here)
- The stuff I had in my backpack: one cycling kit with arm and leg warmers, hiking shoes, one set of normal street clothes, sun lotion, rain jacket, and food.
- Weather and wind conditions guided us. We rode against the “northwesterlies” (NW Wind) and it took us a long, long time.
- Weather reports are an OK indicator but could also change spontaneously. We completely changed our cycling route when we saw it was sunny and not the forecasted rain.
- We always had to apply sun lotion, no matter how stormy, rainy and windy it was. One item I wish I had with me was a hat.
- Our accommodation was a combination of friend of a friend’s places, warmshowers.org (cycling hospitality website) and backpackers. My favorites were staying with locals. Kiwis are such warm, welcoming and friendly people with a lot of insight knowledge to share.
- The two backpacker places I would recommend though are:
- Thanks to Jenny and Kevin in Alexandra for your hospitality, the amazing food and for the insightful conversations.
- Huge thanks to Reta and Robyn in Christchurch: You are awesome! Robyn, thank you very much for your great hospitality. Reta, es war der Hammer, dich kennenzulernen. Du bist einfach super! Ich hoffe, wir sehen uns bald wieder! Viel Erfolg in Deutschland dieses Jahr.
- Thank you to Sheila in Washington, DC for connecting me with Rori in Christchurch. Rori, you were not only a wonderful host but also an incredible tour guide. I have never thought I would learn so much about earthquakes (and experience one!) as I did at your place.
- Thanks to Bob, Gracia and Bill for hosting us in Blenheim and Murchison.
- Big thanks to Bethy for hosting me in Oamaru, for your inspirational stories and for checking out penguins with me!
- Last but not least, thanks to Patrick for sharing such an incredible adventure with me!