new zealand: leaving

A month later and the tour d’New Zealand is finished. Thursday we rolled into Dunedin proper and Friday was our last bike ride – out to the tip of the Otago Peninsula and back to Dunedin. We left our gear behind at the hostel and rode unloaded bikes for the first time in a month. We were wobbly and awkward but got used to it quickly and were soon enjoying the lightness and newly developed leg muscles.

The peninsula has a high road and a low road. The latter wraps around the coast and for much of it, is flat, smoothly paved and has a good shoulder. In parts, there are even marked bike lanes. We rode it on the way out and it had me looking forward to day rides from Vancouver on the road bike (AKA “Princess Speedy”).

On the way back, we climbed up to the high road and into a thick fog. It was fun to test new hill climbing skills, to push myself, knowing that the end of the day would bring me back to a warm bed and the next few days would be spent resting and sitting.

By the end of the ride, I was happy to conclude this tour and get back to real life. It was a wonderful time and we were lucky with the ease of the adventure on so many counts: the weather, the roads and sights, our bodies and gear, etc.

Now it’s Easter Sunday morning. We celebrated with coffee and chocolate in bed and are now waiting for our shuttle to the airport. It will be a long journey home but we’ll be back with a second evening of this day to spare. Crossing my fingers that this weather follows us to Vancouver.

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I look forward to posting the hundreds of photos and writing various tales of our tour. To seeing friends, going surfing, cooking in my kitchen, a blossoming spring, gardening, wearing pants again, and even working (a little :p).

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