Moem's Journal
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An NZ story 
3rd-Sep-2009 05:28 pm
motor in wadi
I suddenly realised that I've never posted anything about the trip to NZ I took with [info]gummihuhn in April. I simply never felt like it. I loved New Zealand, but I don't like writing all that much!
Still, here's a short episode I thought about today... so why not write it down. The pictures are Gummihuhn's.

We were on the West Coast, riding the #6 main road down on our trusty rented steeds. We had been fairly lucky in regards to the weather, but after we'd passed Whataroa it seemed our luck had run out. Earlier that day, we'd stopped at beautiful Lake Ianthe, for a short break in the sun; there was a camping ground, but it seemed too early in the day to stop.
Now we almost wish we had, as it was rapidly growing darker, and it began to rain.
We spotted a small sign with a camp site logo where a road split off from the main road to the right. So we took that road.
We didn't know how far the camp site would be, or what it looked like; we only knew it was very likely to be there. So we went on.
The sight wasn't too good, but I think I spotted something much like a brownish, smallish chicken, shuffling through the bushes near the road. I think it was a kiwi! That, at least, was lucky (I've heard it's not common at all to see them).

The rain turned to snow and sleet. I think we even had a spot of hail! But stopping was useless, it would get us nowhere. So slowly and carefully, we rode on. Every time I looked in my mirror I could see the headlight of Gummihuhn's bike telling me it was going okay, and he was still there.

Finally, when the weather seemed to clear up a bit, we reached Okarito Beach. A tiny village with not many conveniences, except for a camping site... honesty box based. Okay, it was getting dry, so we decided to take the risk and put up our tents.
Some other end-of-season tourists were huddled together in an open shack that served as a kitchen and had some equipment. We went to join them.
We didn't really have anything that could be seen as dinner; so we made ourselves a cup of tea and ate most of what food we had (some bread, cheese and peanut butter) and saved a bit for breakfast. It was fairly cold, very windy and there wasn't much to do, except for go to bed early. So that's what we did.

The morning presented us with a lovely contrast. The first things we heard were the Tasman sea, and birds chirping overhead; I opened my tent, and looked up to see a brilliant blue sky, with the first sunbeams slowly climbing down a palm tree. It was still early and a bit chilly, so we stared at that palm tree for a while, waiting for the sun to be up far enough to warm us.


Click makes big.

It was a radiant morning. We ate our modest breakfast and decided to walk to the actual beach to say good morning to the ocean. I brought my toothbrush so I could brush my teeth in the Tasman sea!

Rinsing out my toothbrush while keeping my feet dry proved difficult, but wearing my biker boots helped a lot. I can now bear witness to the fact that the Tasman sea is very salty and very, very wet. Still, that was the most refreshing tooth brushing session I ever had.


Click makes big

We packed our tents and left Okarito Beach in high spirits, feeling ready for whatever the road would lead us to.
New Zealand is definitely a land of contrasts.

For a different perspective: compare gummihuhn's story... it has more pictures. And if you ever find yourself wanting to rent a motorbike in Christchurch or Auckland, head to the good folks at City Motorcycle Rentals and tell them I said hello.
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