David Johnson's Travel Blog
Bicycle Trip 1999
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Liverworks Productions
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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

Hitchhikie

2016-11-30

tl;dr: I hired a car and picked up some hitchhikers and paid for camping.

If you have ever entered a hot and stinky milkhouse in the middle of July and taken a deep breath...That smell is what Marmite tastes like.

I hired a car right away in the morning. Perhaps I could have gotten a better deal if I worked harder or smarter, but I'm satisfied.

After a month of bicycling on the left side of the road I have directions down pretty well now. What I don't have down? Those blinkers! Who puts blinkers on the right side? Who? Three or four times today I used the windshield wipers to signal a turn. It works about as well as you'd expect.

I passed a bicycle tourer on my way out of Picton. He was climbing a steep, wet, narrow road.

Twenty minutes into my drive I picked up two hitchhikers. The two guys were from Italy. Only one spoke English. They had rough plans for visiting America next year, and so I was asked a lot of questions.

They wanted to be dropped off in Richmond. Even as they were putting on their backpacks a guy named James walked up. He hadn't even got his thumb out when he saw me. Also a hitchhiker. So I took him through Nelson and on to Kateriteri. (I almost made it through the day without visiting a town with a name I couldn't pronounce.) James liked to talk. About anything. He also liked giving instructions. "Turn there. Park here. Buy that. Do a U-Turn." It wasn't as helpful as it sounded.

We stopped at a KMart in Nelson, because I wanted to see a New Zealand KMart, and I still needed a few things, like a phone charger for the car.

I stopped at the south end of Abel Tasman National Park. There wasn't enough time left today to do the hike I was planning so I just found a campsite and went on a shorter hike. I'll do the longer hike tomorrow.

I paid to camp. Sigh. I guess this is my new normal.

The campground was busy. People wandering everywhere. All I could think is: this bites. There were some entertaining ducks, though. They expected to be feed, but would fight each other for scraps of bread. There was a (Norwegian?) couple in the spot next to mine with a baby. They spoke no English. I gave them a slice of bread, and they tried to get the baby to toss pieces to the ducks. Eventually one of the ducks flew right at the baby. The baby started screaming and they laughed.

Have you ever been in a milkhouse in the middle of summer? You know the smell? That is what marmite tastes like.


my hired car


leaving Picton


people running and roads collapsing


Kaiteriteri


on the way to Marahau


campsite ducks fighting over bread


These birds are right next to the trail, not scared, and extremely hard to photograph.


Everybody I asked agreed condensendingly that this was ''not a kiwi.'' Duh. I found later it is called a Weka.


horses on the beach


low tide




some stream


me




There's those birds again.


the campground where I'm staying


These birds were always hard to get close to on a bicycle.


I paid for camping. Sigh.

contact me at le@liverworks.com
< 2016-11-29 Switching Gears 2016-12-01 Abel Tasman National Park >