A New Zealand "Sabbatical"
Permanent link to archive for 02/01/29. Tuesday, January 29, 2002

An Inauspicious Start

I got off to an inauspicious start this morning. I was able to fit everything onto the trailer Monday, but didn't take it for a spin. When I left this morning the bike was extremely heavy in the back and the steering was really unbalanced. By the time I got up to the top of the hill from Rocky Bay, I decided to go back and jettison some weight somehow. It was really wobbly going down hill as well. As I was going up Marine's driveway, which is very steep, the front wheel came off the ground and the weight of the trailer pulled the bike over.
Marine hauled out a scale and it turned out that I has 65 lbs in the trailer. I've rethought my travel plans and will stay in backpacker hostels primarily. I managed to jettison enough stuff, mostly extra clothes and some of my camping gear to get the trailer weight down to 35 lbs.
When I went for a trial ride, it turned out that I had badly bent the front wheel in the fall, so I'm off to a cycle shop in Auckland to get it repaired. Hopefully, they will be able to repair it and I can make my train this evening. They said they could when I called. Like a I said, an inauspicious start.

Posted at 8:15:37 PM  

An Island Tour

Marine took me on a tour of the island, starting with their version of the recyclig transfer station. They have trash pickup on the isalnd, but Marine prefers to bring her recyclables in herself. They recycle just about everything including every type of plastic. They have bins for each type, with a separate bin for clear and colored of each type.
We then drove around the island and out to the last little settlement in the east end. While I was taking pictures from the pier, we a single blue penguin swim ashore, clumsily waddle around a bit and then swim away like a jet.
We also stopped at one of there small wineries on the way back, where they also has a cafe, with good coffee, which I had. It seems Waiheke is turning into a miniature Napa valley. They had about three vineyards when we were there in 1996, 16 last year and 33 this year. Most are pretty small, but they seem to have good reds, as opposed to the South Island vineyards, which are known for their whites.
Passage Rock Vineyard, the one we stopped at was pretty tiny, essentially one smal vineyard and small barn/winery which must have had about 50 barrels total, if that many. Marine tried two vintages of a Bourdeaux style red and thought that they were quite good, particularly the 2000.
After the tour, we went over to the "aerodrome", basically a grass strip with a hangar, to wait for the arrival of a group round-the-world travelers in a small plane. They were a little late, having had to clear customs in Auckland, but they did arrive to a festive welcome by the local Mauri and the Waiheke French Club. The plane was a little four seater single-engine Moody. They had just flown seven hours from Lord Howe Island. They started in Switzerland, traveled over Asia, down through Indonesia, over to Austrailia and then to Waiheke via Lord Howe Island (and Auckland Airport customs). It was a Swiss couple and a friend of theirs from Waiheke, who Marine knew. The two men were nuclear physicists. I guess they will be having an extended stay in Waiheke and then the Swiss couple will head off to Tonga as the next leg, trading in the fellow from Waiheke for extra fuel tanks.
After the arrival, Marine and I picked up Mark at the ferry and I took them to dinner at a local Oneroa restaurant as thanks for letting me stay with them for so long.

Posted at 8:12:33 PM  

Auckland Day

Monday was Auckland Day, the local provincial anniversary holiday. It also seems to be the official end of summer holidays, since schools open on Wednesday.
Like most holidays, we did nothing much. I got in my first ride since arriving, an early morning ride from Mark's house in Rocky Bay to Oneroa, the town nearest the ferry. Many hills, but the first one, out of Rocky Bay is the killer; about a mile straight up. 20.3km round trip, max speed 56.6kp, average speed 7.9kph, total ascent 404 meters, total descent 46meters, max elevation 75 meters, so you can see there were a lot of hills.
Spent most of the morning trying to fit everything into the trailer and onto the bike for the Wednesady start. I got it all on.
The rest of the day was spent chatting with Mark & Marine, doing a little food shopping, watching the boats leave the cove in front of their house and going for a walk around Rocky Bay and in the local reserve--a lazy holiday overall.

Posted at 8:00:41 PM  

Daily Digest 29 Jan 2002

  • Cycle Dist:0km
  • Spent: NZ$136.50 (dinner for Marine & Mark)
  • Start: Waiheke (Rocky Bay)
  • End: Waiheke (Rocky Bay via All over Island by car)

Posted at 7:40:57 PM  

Last update: 2/22/02; 10:27:00 PM
Copyright 2002 - Steven Magnell

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