Finally, the jet lag seems to be wearing off, allowing us to fully enjoy afresh the beauty of New Zealand and the friendliness of the people. The first leg of our flight, from Birmingham to Dubai left an hour late, which resulted in a dash through the airport at Dubai to catch our connection to Auckland. Both legs were with Emirates Airlines in the newish A380 Airbus, a huge beast carrying circa 500 passengers.
Keith met us at the airport, complete with bike rack, and is a fabulous host at his home near the harbour on the pacific coast of Auckland. It is so good to bask in warm summer weather. So far our adventures have been limited to a brief ride down to the coast and along the harbour to test the bikes before returning to meet Fred and Geoff, two of Keith’s friends who are planning Land’s End to John O’Groats / UK rides later this year; a convivial lunch and afternoon passed picking brains on the do’s and do not’s of cycling in each others homeland.
Then on Saturday we took our bikes on a 35 minute ferry ride to Waiheke Island, for a delightful, but incredibly hilly ride to a couple of vineyards and along some wonderful sandy beaches.