Zen On Dirt

New Zealand! Let’s go!

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I believe today is November 6 in Christchurch, NZ. I only say believe because we failed at getting our time conversion right (why are people getting up so early?! Why is it light at 4:30am? Answer: Because we left from AZ, which is actually on Pacific time, not Mountain.), so really, I don’t have a whole lot of faith in what I do or don’t believe.

I think I’m going to do a daily journal for this trip. At 70 days long, and in such a cool location, I want to have the record. And based on the scenery that we saw as we flew in, I think this place is going to be amazingly beautiful.

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Leaving Tucson. Thanks for the photo and ride to the airport Lee!

The packing and traveling really went as smoothly as possible. We got back to Tucson on Monday afternoon, spent Tuesday and Wednesday prepping (and playing) based out of a deserted Gilbert Ray campground, and then flew out Thursday afternoon. (Maybe I’ll write a blog post on our time in Sedona and Tucson, maybe I won’t. It’s my blog and I’ll do what I want to.)

Flights with bikes are always a bit of a gamble. International flights with two layovers are always a gamble. But, we made it with bikes intact with only a 40 minute delay out of Sydney. Plus, the entertainment systems in the Qantas planes almost made it hard to sleep because there were too many movies to watch. #notrealproblems. And they gave us wine. And whiskey. And ice cream bars. And a piece of chocolate. Versus the American Airline flight from TUC to LAX where there was no food and they canceled the drink service because of turbulence) No fuss, no muss. Customs even went smoothly, which are tight in NZ. Even though we completely forgot to wash dirt off of tent stakes…whoops? No sign of dirt is allowed.

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Anyhows, we arrived to Christchurch just shy of 5pm and built our bikes at the bike assembly station at the airport (how cool is that?!). Aside from some emotional issues with my derailleur and my rear tire refusing to go up tubeless, it went smoothly. Plus, we got to talk to a handful of New Zealanders, who, given our 14 hours here assessment, seem amazingly friendly.

We pedaled 2 miles over to a pre-scouted family camping park, figured out some dinner (fries with bacon and cheese from a bar FTW), and crashed out. Not even the fireworks associated the celebration of Guy Fawkes day (something about a guy trying to blow up the British Parliament, I need to read about this) kept us awake. Head on pillow, and out.

We’ve spent the morning figuring out what our plan is. We have three days till Kurt and Kaitlyn show up from Oz, and I think we’re going to go ride some bikes until then. And visit a hot spring.

Ready, go.

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