What an amazingly endless flight! I finally arrived in Auckland, New Zealand around 0700 local time. I’ve slept a couple hours since leaving Chicago with snow falling as we pushed back from the gate.
So today was the expected adventure of customs which is always enhanced by having a big bike. New Zealand really takes biosecurity seriously – asking repeatedly not only if you are carrying fresh fruit, but also looking for dirt on shoes, soiled mountain bike tyres, and any components that could contaminate the agriculture here. So, it was an odyssey, but everyone was really cool (very un-TSA of them!) and joking around and the whole process was pretty pleasant.
So I got to the Skyway Lodge which is totally the place to go if you are biking in NZ! Scott, who runs the place with his wife, is very mellow and if you stay on your first and last nights here, he will let you store your bike box as long as you want for free!
The rest of the day was a random assemblage of free association linking the various things I needed to do. Through the longhaul flight haze, I managed to ride to the bank and sort out my account, get a bus downtown, and hopefully pick up everything I need. They label the stove fuel here as poison, so I guess there’s not confusion!
Most importantly for today, I managed to stay awake which means embracing the time zone. So stoked to ride tomorrow.
One thing is for sure – seeing strawberries in the fields makes me know I’m not likely to get snowed on!