A New Zealand "Sabbatical"
Permanent link to archive for 02/01/30. Wednesday, January 30, 2002

Finally Started!

I was able to get the wheel trued at Adventure Cycles, which is now on Customs Street. It was only NZ$5.00. Other than that the day was sort of wasted. I was unable to upload the pictures to my site for inclusion in the log, an ftp problem of some sort.
I stopped at the old train station, now student accomodations, on my way to the train. It turns out that they have a cheap student cafe in the lobby. I got dinner for NZ$7.50 (just a little over $3 US).
The train is kind of funky, It is three cars, a baggage car and a single engine. There are no overhead racks, so everything except small items such as my daypack had to go in the baggage car. I grabbed my toilet kit, wind jacket and a water bottle before they packed away the bike and trailer.
One of the cars. not mine, thank goodness, contains a big group of young guys heading off to the national park. The train gets in there at 2am. I wonder where they go at 2am? As I was sitting on the platform waiting, this young German woman asked if this was the right platform for the train. She was heading for the South Island in full backpacker gear, a giant pack, which seemed larger than my trailer bag, plus a smaller pack, but larger than my computer backpack, carried backwards over the chest. I don't see how one can get around like that, but I saw many backpackers, mostly women, similarly attired in Auckland. The guys seem to only have the giant pack. Young guys must be much less concerned with accoutrements.
Well, he overnight train was a bit of a bust. Too much motion and too uncomfortable to get much sleep. The best comparison is taking the flight to NZ in economy with turbulence the entire way. I'll take the day trains from now on. At least there will be a view.
I met an older couple from Virginia getting off the train who were also cycling. They have a bit more experience touring and have even cycled cross-country from DC to Seattle. They just arived yesterday, took the train from the airport station and are taking the ferry to Picton and then the train all the way to Invercargill and then cycling north via Queenstowm.
There are nine other cyclists on the ferry and five of them, including me have the BOB trailers. The other four are the older couple and a young German couple who have toddler in a trailer. They are cycling around the world. The baby was born on the way and the woman is pregnant again! Needless to say they are traveling with an enormous amount of stuff.
I've decided to to spend the day in Picton. I was originally going to ride to Blenheim, about 25km, but I'm a little tired. I chose a place a little outside of town, Bayview Backpackers in Waikawa Bay (4km from the Picton ferry dock). It is clean and has a range of rooms, shared showers and kitchens. It is a BBH Hostel. BBH(Budget Backpacker Hostels New Zealand) is an network of independent "backpacker" hostels. YOu can by a BBH card for NZ$40 that gets you a $2 discount per person per night and a $20 dollar phone card. Ten nights and it will pay for itself.
Blenheim will come tomorrow.

Posted at 5:25:46 PM  

Last update: 2/22/02; 10:27:04 PM
Copyright 2002 - Steven Magnell

Click here to see the XML version of this weblog.

This site is edited with Radio UserLand, the first personal Web Application server for Windows and Macintosh.