Tuesday, February 26, 2019

On the ferry back to the North Island. Not riding as much as I thought, but am definitely enjoying the warm weather and relaxation here. What I am NOT enjoying is the wind! I guess we are in the middle of the ocean on a sliver of land, where the wind can just breeze on through. Unless, of course, when it gets amplified by the mountains and propelled with even more ferocity along the roads between them - they call this the "wind tunnel" here. So whenever I have to endure wind, I think rain is better - when it's rain, I am quite sure high winds are preferable.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Kaikoura, on the north-east coast of the South Island has 3,552 people & there's nothing else around here. That's probably fewer humans than on that cruise ship anchored off-shore there. Not quite sure what it's doing there, but I am getting a free night of camping here on the rocks, courtesy of the local town council. Pretty windy but I have huge rocks anchoring the tent down since there's no putting in stakes here (picture from inside the tent). The only amenities are porta-loos - that's not bad for free...

P.S.; OK, I looked it up. I guess it's a regular stop for many cruise lines, including Holland America, Princess, etc. I hear a helicopter or two hovering and I guess there is whale-watching in the area, which had the big 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Nov. 2016 that left 2 dead and 57 injured in Kaikuora alone. Christchurch got it bad, too. A few campgrounds I saw were still closed.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

After getting back to the west coast, I remembered why this place is so beautiful. The weather west of the mountains is colder/wetter than the east, but I managed to be there when it was good. Then the forecast called for more rain (you will notice how very green it all is) so back to Christchurch!

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

I doubt I could cram any more on this thing. A woman at the store where I got the food suggested a "wee trailer" - I insist my bike have fewer wheels than my car. The extension cord is a must for "caravan park" power outlets, which are unique & it can't be used elsewhere. The heater is new, gets down in the low 40's in the south. The awning is a must - the sun is "hotter" here than anywhere I've been, UV is higher.

I am probably the only bike heading north away from Invercargill this week. Campgrounds are full of bikers heading to the rally - with a surprising number of Indians among them.

Monday, February 4, 2019

The actual Burt Monro Bike! Yes, it's at a hardware store, not a museum. This hardware store is huge & a tinker's dream - I was awed by all the real stuff I always needed but could never find! This looks like what would happen if you told the WORKERS at Stadium Hardware they could buy two million dollars worth of stuff and put it all in the old K-Mart building! Too bad I didn't need anything just then...

"The store’s late owner, Irving Hayes, bought his old friend’s bike after Munro passed away and put it in his shop – E. Hayes & Sons Ltd. His grandson now continues that tradition.

Then, I was wandering around and a frame from the movie jumped out at me...
It's sitting in the hall between store sections, unannounced.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

                  The Burt Monro monument - unveiled on Nov. 11, 2011

That's quite a face there. His children helped create it, so I guess he looked like that when he raced. No goggles or faceplate reminds me; no seatbelts in cars back then, either. I got here just in time - next week is the rally here. I'll be good & gone by then! Tomorrow I'll look up the actual bike & get out of here before the gaggel gets here, although there are a few bikes here already. If you are not familiar with Burt, I suggest you to see "The World's Fastest Idian", a great story indeed.