3:40 am
2 November 2004


I know that most of you are wondering how my flight was -- truly, it wasn't that bad.  I didn't get an exit row seat from LA to Auckland so I prepared myself for a horrible torture, but ended up that the leg room was surprisingly comfortable.  If I think the same thing on the return trip it will be amazing -- stay tuned.

Upon ariving in NZ I went through customs without a hitch and got a bus to the city (the airport is about 21 km west of the city).  I then assembled my bike at Adventure Cycles and was very happy to have everything arrive as well as I did.  The shop was very friendly and helpful and it made getting started very easy. According to recommendation I hopped a train to Papekora in order to avoid the city traffic.  From Papekora I biked to Orere Point where I stayed at a motorcamp.  Yesterday I biked to Paeroa.

The views have been spectacular and amazingly I suffered no jet lag.  It has been great to this point, but Mark I wish I was drafting off of you at times.  As much of the road at this point has been along the bays or seas the wind has been pretty strong at times. Last night I was very excited to see the small city of Paeroa .  The Ks often feel like miles with the wind in my face.

I set up camp last night in the town park per recommendation from the visitor center.  Unfortunately there were no picnic tables so I had use my tent. After getting groceries and gas for my stove, I went to a cafe for dinner. When I got back I was greeted by a couple on their evening walk and was recommended not to stay in the park for safety reasons.  As they did not appear to be the most educated people I went back to the cafe for a second opinion -- I got the same one.  So I packed up my tent and headed to their house where I turned down sleeping on the sofa, on the floor or in the car parked in the back on blocks.  Insert image of transplanted white trash.

I set up camp in the dark and slept like a log, until the cock crowed to wake me in the morning.  Many would think this was quaint, but at 3:40am it is anything but.  I slept off and on until 6:00 when it was bright enough to get up and start packing up.

Today I am heading to Tauranga where I plan on staying.  I also am looking to pick up a different saddle as after examing mine it is crushed around an important area -- Mark can relate.  Needless to say my children require a different seat.

All in all things are great.  I will send some pictures out to Leah to post on the web site.  Take care and I miss you all!

Ride on.






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