It has been five weeks since we last did a day of cycling – our longest break by a factor of about five – but tomorrow we set off once more.
We’ve enjoyed a lovely rest with my brother and sister-in-law in Melbourne. Staying in the same place and sleeping in the same bed has been bliss. Not having to find a place to sleep each night, pitch-and-strike our tent, inflate and deflate our mattresses. Cooking dinner with more than one hob and eating it without having to sit on the floor.
But now, after a good rest and some good feeding, it is time to return to the saddle. We have spent the last couple of days staying with friends just north of Wellington and now have 12 days to cycle to Auckland, some 400 miles. It’s not long but then we hadn’t expected to do any pedalling in New Zealand so even two weeks here is a bonus.
Our flight to America is booked for the evening of October 1st and, due to the wonders of the international date line, we’ll arrive in San Francisco on the morning of the same day, ready for our final stretch and our biggest country of the trip.
First, however, is New Zealand’s North Island and it’s hills. For those interested, our route will go through Marton, up the east side of Lake Taupo, through Taupo itself and Hamilton before reaching Auckland. We’ve managed to shed yet more stuff in Melbourne, including my ukulele, so have saved a couple of pounds off the weight of our bikes and have been given some nice new tops made with a bamboo-merino blend to replace our torn and tattered originals.
All that’s left is to load up our bikes once more and see if our legs still work…