First Sunlight
9 November 2004


From the first city in the world to see the sun (Gisborne), I say hello.  Two days ago I was one of six people to see the sunrise before anyone else in the world.  I know this as the East Cape lighthouse is the furthest place east in NZ and the closest spot to the International Dateline (they claim).  Seeing the sun slowly peak it’ head over the immense stretch of black sea water slowly gaining it’s blue tint as the sun lights up the sky before us was beyond spectacular. This view came at a small price though as we had to get up at 4:30 in order to make the trek out there. I went with Sabina, a German girl I met the day before, and we got a ride w/ two other people from Germany in their camper van.  It was the scariest ride of my life.  The road meandered along the cliffs of the East Cape and often switched between gravel and sealed conditions.  We got their alive despite sliding around several corners. From the spot we parked the cars we tramped for about 25 minutes to the top of the cliff that holds the lighthouse in order to watch a spectacle that I will not soon forget.  Unforgettable.

I am still traveling (kinda) with the group of four from Minnesota .  They stay in hostels and Sabina and I tent.  We often meet for drinks or see each other biking during the day, but tomorrow I go solo again. Sabina and the Minnesota crew hop on buses in order to meet other destinations.  I will bike to Napier in two days and then hop a bus to Wellington as the traffic is bad and the views aren't much better according to the locals.

There have been no more run-ins with any other vehicles.  No bike problems either, just a great time.  I really haven't seen anything out of the ordinary to tell you about.  It gets to the point that beautiful scenery is the norm and sunny days are expected.  I know I'm spoiled. 

More in two days.  Sabina is waiting to go to dinner.  Miss you all.

Ride on,






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