Thursday, April 11, 2019

Got up early  Wednesday, (4:45 AM) and am now waiting to board the plane. I am so looking forward to 25 hours on airplanes!


OK, so now I am home! Missed Michigan winter again! So sad about that, right?

Monday, April 8, 2019

 Well, things have turned around a bit since I last looked at the discrepancy between the daylight hours of Michigan and New Zealand! That's right, it is now flipped around with Michigan getting growing days & New Zealand's days are shrinking. Yesterday, we "fell back" an hour as winter is coming and of course it was a couple weeks ago that daylight savings started in Michigan. I do like that custom - allows for more riding time in the afternoon, since I am never riding at 6:00 AM. And Wednesday, the plane!

Ann Arbor,Michigan

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

It rained in Katikati last two days and this horrible monstrosity  (Web picture, didn't have my camera handy) crawled out from under the tarp this morning. Normally I wouldn't hesitate stepping on something that ugly and frightening-looking, but I just let it meander on its way since it wasn't bothering me & was less annoying than that bee that wouldn't go away. Good thing, too, since the giant Weta is protected in New Zealand! Well, I was less patient with the bee, alas not protected.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Just checking in...

I have been making my way slowly (& uneventfully) up the east coast of the North Island and now find myself only about 3 hours from Auckland. I could ride up to the Coromandel peninsula but at this point I am quite uninterested in doing any more riding on this awkward and uncomfortable BMW. So I am just hanging around until I head back in a couple weeks. Nice place here in Katikati, but last couple days it has been raining. It is raining now, even though the forecast for this morning has a zero % probability - the usual. So rain is normal for fall but I am now looking forward to spring in Michigan - a wonderful time to be there and the forecast looks good for April, in contrast to last year. Oh, another forecast! Well see...

P.S.; as an afterthought, it occurred to me to find a picture of someone riding one of these things. There is no other place for my hands or my feet. Huh...

Friday, March 15, 2019

Hi, just got settled into a free city parking lot camping (with grassy areas & toilets) when I punched in the US news and was amazed to find New Zealand in the headlines! But as always, they only cover disasters and the mosque shootings are certainly that. No, I an nowhere near there now - I was there last month a couple times but as you may imagine, nowhere near a mosque.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Encountering this sign is not the best way to begin a day's ride, but I imagined it was aimed at the thrill seekers. This seemed to be the case as I had no trouble with the road itself, only a few impatient drivers which I mostly was able to ignore; they weren't as bad as some others I've seen.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Ready to do more travelling and looking at the area I will be headed toward. So I see a couple of unusually named places there. There have been many strange names for towns during this trip, mostly original Maori. However, sometimes this can lead to a bit of awkwardness...
Can't make this stuff up.

Then, the longest name for a place anywhere in the world - 85 letters! I discovered it's not a town, but the name of a hill & is said to translates roughly as "The summit where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, the slider, climber of mountains, the land-swallower who travelled about, played his kōauau (flute) to his loved one". Now normally anything over 1,000 ft is a mountain (this 1,001 ft) but here it's just a hill.