Saturday, November 05, 2011

061111 BLOK

041111 BLOK  Onerahi, No Is., N.Z. 

Alvaro and I are staying with Paul and Carol Doherty (two daughters, Madoline and Freya) on the outskirts of Whangarei, in a suburb called 'Onerahi (next to a little airport). This, about 200+ KM north of Auckland, right on the east coast, the Bay of something(?).  
Note, like Australia, the larger cities all on oceans, bays, harbors, rivers, water...
It's all about water, sailing, dairy, timber,  the environment, Mauri, and Rugby, in the 'Land of the Long White Cloud!' 
We haven't cranked very far, in one week+, but in no hurry.  Plus, cycling in N.Z. different in that the roads are narrow with endless steep, but short, hills.  You're basically slow up and fast down, up and down, up and down.  I'd name N.Z.,  at least for cyclists:  'The Land of the Roller Coaster!' 
I almost 'killed' myself the second day out of Auckland, going too far (60KM) with too heavy a load.  
Now, after one week I'm getting back into it, the heavy load feeling less and less.  This is what happens when an older person (me) sits around for three months, and then does what I did recently starting out in N.Z., (too much, too quickly).  I ended up having to rest in Wellsford, for one entire day, and spending too much in the process (paying for two nights in a motel).
But, now ten days later (as now 0611), feeling more 'like home' again.  'On the road again!'  I'm on the road again!'  (for Willy, who once said, having been arrested for smoking a joint, 'It's all a part of life.').  Note, I spent one night in a Dallas jail, when Jaime and me caught 'doing it!'

We've met some wonderful families in Northland, N.Z.:  The Worthys of Waipu, and the Dohertys of Onerahi/Whangarei. hosts don't normally charge for opening their space to cyclists.  But, I feel honor bound to pay them at least a token amount of $.  This to cover what food (the preparation of), electricity, toilet paper, soap, and Internet we've used.  They've cooked us some wonderful meals!
You can't just take, you have to give as well!
For the last few days we've partaken of the Doherty's hospitality, which like the Worthys, knows no bounds!  When they say, 'Make yourself at home!'  they mean it!
The Dohertys particularly sophisticated in little ways that one can only 'feel.'  Additionally, their little 'cottage,' so well done, so well decorated.
Alvaro and I are sleeping in the attic/office of a converted garage.  We would have been happy to pitch our tents, but all of our hosts so far have real grass lawns, and tents (left even a few days) tend to weaken and/or 'kill' the grass.  Out of the 1st ten days on the road, I've only camped out one night.  
In fact, in my first one month in N.Z., I've only camped out one night.
We've even found a good bicycle mechanic only 3KM away (courtesy of Nadia Worthy in Waipu).  His name, Brent Love/Missing Link Cycles.  He did a once over of Mr. Fetes the other day, only to pronounce him 'sound.'  The spokes on the front wheel were a little loose, so he tightened.  But, guess what?  He went to bicycle mechanics school in Colorado Springs!  I was dumbfounded when he explained it's one of the best for such in the world.  In retrospect, I should have gone, but never even knew about this 'school,' the four years I lived there in Colorado Springs. 
Today, Sunday, Brent is building a new wheel for Alvaro, as he has had a breaking-spokes problem.
I don't mean to appear ethnocentric to my Chinese or Nepali friends, but there's something about people of British Isles genes (me excluded of course).  Maybe it's the way they think, as organized, thoughtful, ultimately able to communicate so well.  Maybe it's that we speak the same language!
Anyway, both Alvaro and I departing here on Tuesday, the 8th, each heading north, but taking different routes.
I need to go to Matapouri, and check out Dr. Bruce's property.  I'll probably camp there a couple of nights and experience the full moon.
Then on north to the tip of the North Island, Cape Reiga.  This where the spirits of the Mauri deceased depart 'The Land of the Long White Cloud.'  The North Island in the shape of a stingray, and the northern tip, the 'tail' of the stingray.

In the meantime...


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