So how is it…

…cycling around New-Zealand in autumn? A question we get a lot from a lot of people we meet on the road. Well the answer is…

Cold: Of course it isn’t always warm and at some point we even found ourselves cycling in the snow. It is normal that when we wake up the tent is frozen and it isn’t until noon when the sun is at its highest point that it gets “warm”. But then, if you dress up well and have a good sleeping-bag (especially Jean-Christophe can tell stories about this “Me cold? Nooo! I will be just fine in my summer sleeping bag. In Norway I wasn’t cold neither. And if not, I will put on some extra socks…” – We ended up buying him a polar expedition sleeping bag after two nights in which he almost froze to death… ;-) ) everything is fine. And then most campsites in New-Zealand are well equiped with a fireplace in a cosy common room to heat up in the evening. :-)

Yes! It's snowing! :-) Picture on the top! :-)

Colourful: Despite the cold and wind, the beautiful autumn colors are just a pleasure to our eyes. It sometimes seems that nature is trying to make up for the weather, by making the landscape incredibly beautiful in exchange! It’s like a painter’s palette of greens, reds, oranges, yellows and blues! Great! :-)

Lake Pukaki Fireworks!

Hard: Sometimes with the strong wind (doing 20 km with superhard headwind is definitely not our idea of fun… :-( ) and the Kiwi’s idea of “hills” (they just have roads that are so steep that it is just impossible to cycle them and we have to push our bikes) we are for sure wondering what (and why!) we are doing here. But then there is always something good waiting for us at the end: a warm fire, beautiful landscapes or a “thumbs-up” from cars passing by. :-)

Empty: Due to the low season, there aren’t too many people on the road, which makes the whole thing quite enjoyable, being able to cycle next to each other a lot of times and enjoy the landscape together. There are anyway only 4 million people in New-Zealand (and 40 million sheep!) so in general it is relatively quiet (except for the typical tourist areas, where everybody seems to clog up) and the worst that can happen is that you get into a traffic jam of sheep. :-)

Heavy traffic

So all in all, we can say that it’s actually quite a nice experience! :-)

Vera & Jean-Christophe

One Comment

  1. Posted May 11, 2008 at 22:30 | Permalink

    Embouteillages au milieu des moutons! Ce n’est pas pire que dans nos grandes villes, au moins vous profitez du paysage magnifique et ce n’est pas polluant!!!
    Je veux bien faire l’├ęchange un jour.