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Sunday, 12 September 2010

12th Septemebr 2010, 1120pm

In a little under 10 hours, if all goes to plan, the cycling adventure will begin. Though a few obstacles are in the way, we hope to clock up between 40 and 70 kms on day one of the journey north. Thats around 45 miles! Those obstacles begin in the morning at approximately 8:15am when we will attempt to convince a bus driver, as yet unknown to us, to allow us to take our bikes and our trailer on the bus to Warkworth. Assuming that we are able to do that, we will travel 1 hour on the bus; then gather our belongings and continue under our own steam. The objective is to make it to Mangawhai Heads where there is a good looking B&B to stay in for my birthday. It may be a bit too ambitious to get all the way up there on our first day cycling, but we will give it a go.

New Zealand is built out of extinct volcanoes and as such it is full of peaks and troughs. These are easy enough to scale by bike without a full trailer and pannier bags, but with, we will have to see. I have been studying the terrain and there are a few 200 metre climbs on the way. I can feel you smirking from here – Oh ye of little faith!

I feel ready to move on, ready to explore the delights of the North Land. There is so much about discovering new horizons that inspires. It feels as if every turn in the road will reveal new secrets, that it each new town could be the place where we find new and lasting friendships. The pressure of self-reliance forces us to find new ways of coping with the challenge of being on our own. If we get a puncture or the chain on a bike snaps, then it is down to me to repair it. If the rain and wind seem to be joining forces against us then we must remain motivated. It is as if we are about to move forward into an unknown world and in that world we will discover more about ourselves and our relationship than we would have done if we had stayed at home and not taken the gamble of coming to the other side of the world.

Life traveling removes the security and comfort of home. That may sound like a bad thing, but it is not. Instead of sitting on the sofa watching Match of The Day, I spent the early part of this evening chatting to Marcus, and student from Brazil over the washing up in our communal kitchen. I read a book in the laundry room waiting for our clothes to dry and got chatting to a French Canadian about living in Auckland. I am currently sat at the rear of a shop called the 'Smile Mart' in China Town and I can here a guy on his mobile phone, he is talking in a concerned tone to his cousin who is in Christchurch – apparently as I write this, there is another after-shock from the earthquake there and he has just had to run outside his house.

It's 11:12pm here and our my time on the internet is about to run out. I will update the bog again as soon as I get a proper internet connection, when that will be is anyone's guess. But stick with me – by the way, my blog has just reached the 200 hits mark – so thanks for staying in touch with our progress!!

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