Hot Water Beach

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Day 115
December 8, 2012
It rains heavily during the night, and in the morning we just manage to run for shelter with our tent half packed up before another downpour soaks everything. Christof changes my tire again, saying that it’s losing air because the patches we bought at Walmart don’t hold properly. He discovers that his handlebar is broken, again. Now the other bolt is threadbare and stripped. [Read more…]

A rough ferry ride

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Day 113
December 6, 2012
Heavy rains during the night have us stuffing a soggy, drenched tent into its cover before setting off on a pastoral ride towards the ferry dock. Thick mists shroud the hills in floating veils of opacity, sheep dot steep slopes, and every bend in the road reveals unexpected, splendid views. The hills look small and hobbit-like, but climbing them on heavily laden bicycles is unbelievably strenuous. [Read more…]

Wine tasting at Stoneyridge Vineyards

Stoney Ridge Vineyards

Day 112
December 5, 2012
A quiet day without a schedule. Waiting for the ferry to the Coromandel, we take a walk to Onetangi beach, which has completely disappeared. The waves swelled by the storm winds have swallowed up the entire beach. Our eyes can hardly take in the thick luxurious vegetation surrounding us everywhere we turn. If you stopped long enough, surely you would see and hear it growing. [Read more…]

Kina Backpackers on Waihiki Island

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Day 111
December 4, 2012
I am sitting at a picnic table on top of a hill overlooking Onetangi Beach a small cove on Waiheke Island, a hobbit-like landscape half an hour from the capital. On the way here Air New Zealand used characters from the film The Hobbit, to pep up the otherwise dry security announcements. In the arrival hall at the airport in Auckland, floor to ceiling size posters of the actors welcomed us to Middle Earth. The film – like the Lord of The Rings before it – was shot here. It premiered in Wellington last week, and is due for release on December 12th, a subject followed with enthusiasm and great national pride. [Read more…]