words with kitchen

real life adventures of an aspiring adult

Riding out the storm…


… by not riding!

Yesterday I rode my first day on the tour! It was quite a bit harder than I was expecting. I felt really great early on but bonked pretty hard later in the day. It was still a good day full of great experiences and I’m proud of myself.

We’re having a bit of a storm here in the Auckland region right now and that ended up canceling all of the Auckland to Gulf Harbour ferries for the day. Fortunately, they were running buses to replace the ferries. A bit of a sad, but one cool thing it allowed for was a personal guided tour of the route from my bus driver, since I was the only passenger!

Selfie looking backward down the length of an empty articulated bus.
The biggest taxi I’ve ever taken. And at $8, by far the cheapest.

After arriving in Gulf Harbour, I was amazed to find that I could see downtown Auckland quite clearly, despite it being an hour away by ferry or bus! Perfect for a “it begins” photo shoot.

Photo of my bike loaded up leaning against a post in a grass field with central Auckland off in the distance past a large body of water.
The last time I’ll see Auckland for some time!
Me standing in front of my bike in a grass field with a large body of water behind me.
Ready for adventure!

The lovely gentleman who took my picture let me know of a nice place further out on the Whangaparāoa Peninusla where there’s a Kiwi sanctuary and some pretty views. Sadly, no Kiwi were to be found, as they are not active during the day, but the views were really nice, and I got some extra credit riding in to make up for the shortened day.

A gate for cars and bicycles in a tall fence that surrounds a kiwi sanctuary. Sign says “no dogs no pets no exceptions”
Entrance to the kiwi sanctuary.

See, originally I had planned to ride all the way past Orewa to Wairera and stay at the Schischka Campground. But all I’d heard about from people for the past few days and from the weather service was the storm approaching the area, and how much of a doozy it was supposed to be. So I decided to cut the day short and stop in Orewa. Orewa is a beach community, and only about an hour drive from Auckland, so it’s a very popular weekend spot. Fortunately I was able to get in at the local holiday park, and extra double bonus points: they had a cabin I could stay in.

View from my bed of the front of the cabin with 2 windows straddling a door and one above the door. My bicycle is in frame as well as my lower body. A tv hinges out from the wall.
Warm and dry while the storm rages outside

Combine the storm with my long ride planned for the next day, made that much longer because I was starting farther away, I decided not to ride and just hang out in Orewa for the day. Judging by the surf conditions, I think I made the right choice.

I don’t think I’ll be going to the beach today.

So now I’m hanging out at an awesome coffee shop with tons of couches, chill music, great coffee, and friendly doggos.

A photo of a black and white spaniel-breed dog from behind with my hand on her back in a coffee shop full of sofas and comfortable chairs and coffee tables and plants.
This is Cracker. She’s a bit camera shy.

Tomorrow I’ll get back on the bike, weather permitting, and suffer my way to Sandspit, where I’ll probably spend 2 more nights, one to rest up from the long day, but also to do some side excursions in the area.


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