David Johnson's Travel Blog
Bicycle Trip 1999
Okefenokee 2002
Anza-Borrego 2003
Texas 2003
Road Trip West 2003
Sequoia National Park 2004
Hiking Florida 2005
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Little Bicycle Trip 2011
Wisconsin Bicycle Trip 2011
Bicycle Trip 2011
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Nomadic 2012
Liverworks Productions
Nomadic 2013
Liverworks Productions
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Bicycle Trip 2014
Bicycle Trip 2015
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Chickens and Pheasants 2016
Biking About 2016
New Zealand 2016
10/30   Right is Left
10/31   Omeru Scenic Reserve
11/01   Omamari Beach
11/02   Waipoua Forest
11/03   Mail Boxes and a Magic Orange
11/04   Cape Reinga
11/05   Ninety Mile Beach
11/06   Haruru Falls
11/07   Russell Forest
11/08   Bus and Ferry
11/09   Thames
11/11   Castle Rock
11/12   Hot Water Beach
11/13   Owharoa Falls
11/14   Thompson's Track
11/15   Rotorua
11/17   Rotorua Rain
11/18   Haku Falls
11/19   Pureora Forest Park
11/20   Waitomo Glowworm Caves
11/21   Marokopa
11/22   New Plymouth
11/25   Pukeiti Rain Forest
11/26   Boring Highway 3
11/27   Boring Highway 1
11/29   Switching Gears
11/30   Hitchhikie
12/01   Abel Tasman National Park
12/02   Rawhiti Cave
12/03   Mount Robert
12/04   Glaciers
12/05   Mount Aspiring
12/06   Milford Sound
12/07   Stirling Point
12/08   The Catlins
12/09   Tunnel Beach
12/10   Sandfly Beach
12/11   Mount Cook
12/12   Cave Stream
12/14   Long Day Home
Kayak Trip 2017

Switching Gears

2016-11-29

tl;dr: I've crossed the north island. Now to the south island!

I was pretty stressed yesterday. Examining the prospect of cycling the south island, I had these facts: the south island is colder, windier and more wet than the north island; points of interest are farther apart on the south island; there are fewer roads and probably more tourists on them; I would need to purchase more layers; I would need to replace a number of worn components on my bike; and, finally, I'm kind of tired of bicycling. One of my rules of thumb is to stick to the plan unless there is a very good reason not to. Are these reasons good enough?

This lead to three options: Continue on cycling, go home, or switch things up.

I purchased a suitcase at a Salvation Army store and stripped my bicycle of all portable components that would fit in it. The rest of the bike I donated to a local push-bike garage. I bought an expensive pair of trail shoes and a small backpack and a sun hat and a ferry ticket to Picton. I shall head south and spend the next couple of weeks day-hiking the south island of New Zealand.

That's the new plan, anyway.

I didn't do much of interest in Wellington. I mostly walked around looking for shoes. The city is busy with people walking everywhere. There are occasional beggars, which is odd, because apparently New Zealand has crazy liberal social services.

There is a bar next to the hostel. That bar had a band. BOOM chica BOOM chica BOOM until midnight, at least. I considered asking for a different room, but the hostel was pretty full and a quick walk around the building confirmed that the music permeated most rooms.

I took the Bluebridge ferry to the south island. I spent the entire trip on the top deck rather than inside. The ferry is huge. I didn't realize how close the two islands are. For some reason I thought the distance between would be greater.

So many Americans! Between Wellington and the ferry and Picton I have tripled the number of other Americans I've met in New Zealand.

I'm staying the night at the Atlantis Backpacker hostel. The lady asked if I wanted the quiet dorm room rather than the mixed dorm room with 28 beds. It was $1 more. As if that was even a choice. There are a number of hostels on town, and the worst here has a better rating than the best in Wellington.

Tomorrow I will attempt to hire a car.

People making pancakes at the Nomad.


Nomads Capital backpackers hostel


I have stripped my bicycle down to the big bits.


These are the parts I will drag home.


I spent a lot of money yesterday.


a random shot of Wellington


Wellington Harbor


The Bluebridge ferry has red reusable boarding passes.


The Bluebridge ferry is large.




It is hard to see, but that green trailer is full of sheep.


leaving the north island


You can already see the south island.


The Interislander is the competition.






looking back to the north island


the wake left by the Bluebridge


Everybody is now on the deck taking pictures.




steaming into Picton


waiting for the ramp to lower


Atlantis Backpackers hostel


the quiet room




Chocolate milk is so expensive here. Also, digital tags are very common.


the Atlantis kitchen

contact me at le@liverworks.com
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