You know how sometimes you do something that you know will make other people just shake their heads in wonderment or just go “tsk tsk tsk”. Well, the last few days have been quite full of such moments.
It all began yesterday, on Thursday. This was the day when we were supposed to pick up the bikes, do a few last minute things, and get ready to leave Wellington the following day.
I think we underestimated the ease of travel when we expected things to go right. Because the luggage was still missing and nobody could give a clear answer as to when it would be returned, the day was spent thinking of backup plans we could follow if the luggage didnt make it. Estimates ranged between 3 days to a week – all of which would really cramp our plans. Its tough to do much without the camping gear and other essentials (such as my bike seat, for example).
Another surprise came when we decided to book the ferry to cross to the South Island where we were planning to begin our journey. We didn’t do it in NY because we read that it would be a bit cheaper to do it when you are in NZ. Big mistake! When we went online at 10pm to book them, all of the tickets were sold out for the next 2 days! Granted, we did do this on a pretty short notice, but this was definitely unexpected.
Without a lot of desire to stay in Wellington any longer, we contemplated all of the other options. Some pretty strange ones came to mind ranging frolm taking a flying lesson and just asking the pilot to drop us off on the different island to skydiving from the North to the South island (which is actually offered). The latter option was actually quite appealing, but unfortunately it’d be pretty difficult to do it with the bikes :). So, we just booked the first ferry available for Sat night and just headed to bed wondering what tomorrow will bring.
The next day started off pretty well. When I called the airline at 8am, they actually said that they found the bag and it was put on the first flight to Wellington and should arrive by courier to the hostel by 10am.
REUNITED WITH MY BACKPACK
I have to say that when I saw the courier come in holding my backpack, that was literally one of the happiest moments of my life. As interesting as it was to be free of material things, having all of the stuff that I so carefully picked for this trip really made me feel like a whole man again.
On top of that, we were able to get our ferry moved to Saturday morning instead of night, which would also save us a whole day. So things were definitely looking up.
We started repacking all of our stuff from the backpacks to the bicycle panniers. By the time we were done, we were barely able to move the bikes. And once we rolled the bikes out on the street and waved good bye to the hostel – our last bit of civilized living so to speak, it started to hit us what we got ourselves into.
We decided to spend a day cycling around the city. We must’ve looked so lost, because every time we would stop for a second to look at a map, somebody would always approach us and offer directions. After the 4th person asked us if we needed help,
Of course, the day wouldn’t be complete without an another inconvencience. A few hours into our ride, Anya’s front wheel caught a flat. As we sat on the curb, wondering what the hell to do next and trying to remember everything that Gera taught both of us about bike repair, we thought once again about what we got ourselves into.
TRYING TO FIX A FLAT BEFORE REALIZING THAT THE PATCH IS APPLIED TO THE INNER TUBE, NOT THE OUTER WHEEL!
So, by mustering up all of the stuff we remembered, we began by trying to patch up the whole using a puncture repair kit. The instructions must’ve been written in another language, because we spend an hour trying to apply the patch to the tire before realizing that we need to do it to the inner tube. When we started taking the back wheel off, we messed up the back breaks. So even when we did get the hole fixed, the breaks took us another hour to get back to normal.
But we did it! Sure, things seemed bleak. Sure, it took us 2 hours to do something that would take somebody that knew what they were doing about 10 minutes. But who’s counting, anyway.
Once we got it fixed, we figured that its about time for us to find a place to crash for the night. Problem is that we wanted to camp out but there weren’t really a lot of campgrounds in the city. Actually, there were none.
At first, we figured that we’d just find a secluded area with some green and trees. Unfortunately, our first attempt just brought us to someone’s backyard. That didn’t quite work out so well, so we found another place near a park which is ironically called “Central Park”. So we crashed here for the night.
VIEW OF WELLINGTON