Sunday, February 28, 2016

Ka kite ano te whanau o Aotearoa!

It's Thursday night, 10.30pm and we are wandering the streets of Hoon Hay, Christchurch. We are on the countdown to leaving (12 hours) and we are figuring how we have ended up stuck in town, with no car and no way home to Lincoln! How did we get here?

A few hours previously we had realised that a key piece of our kit was missing, and after a careful search we figured it must be in our storage unit in Hoon Hay. Obstacle One was that we had given our car away to it's new home . Obstacle Two was our flatmate was out, in his car. Obstacle Three - our bikes are already boxed, otherwise we could jump on them!

In the spirit of travel, an ambitious plan was hatched to get to the garage to retrieve said piece of kit! We wrangled a ride with Ben into town (who was on his way to the West Coast), collected our keys from the neighbour, opened the storage unit, found it within minutes and then set about getting back to Lincoln. The options were a $50 taxi or a few hours walking but after a quick google search we were off running through the streets to catch the last bus that would get us back to Lincoln. Andy had to detour to a BP to get cash out - while I ran ahead and planned to hold the bus. Literally, Andy came running round the corner as the bus pulled up! $10 bucks later, a bus transfer, 40mins and we were home in Lincoln! Go on the old public transport system!

Everything is stored!

Packing up the panniers at Ben's in Lincoln.

We then headed north to Grahams Beach near Manakau Heads in Auckland to celebrate the wedding of one of Andy's cousins. This has been a lovely time camping, walking on the beach, hanging out with Nana, relaxing and enjoying good food and dancing - the last on NZ soil for some time!

Todays has been a mixture of last minute jobs, naming things, reinforcing bike boxes and enjoying our last coffee and hanging out with Andy's parents. We've just found out our first flight has been delayed which means we miss our connecting flight so we are now dreaming up adventures of things to do in Dubai for a day while we wait!

The anticipation and excitement, along with nervousness are all mounting - especially as every person we meet tells us of their best travelling tips for ensuring we don't get ripped off and all our stuff stolen. Between that and all the diseases we can catch I'm looking forward to just getting into it!

Beach wedding! Lovely to spend some time at a new beach

And this is what it boils down to for six months:  Two duffel bags filled with our four panniers, two bike boxes and two handle-bar bags (P.S... We were both to exhausted and grumpy to smile without lot's of persuasion)


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

One week to go!

One of the first things Andy and I did together in Christchurch three years ago happened to be a “Global Exposure” course which aimed to wrestle with and discuss some of the issues of global inequality, theology and our relationship to others overseas.

This has been something we are both pretty passionate about and it fuelled both our interest in experiencing more of other cultures and places to help grow our understanding of the world and how it works. Over time, a plan has developed and it is pretty exciting to be setting out shortly on our big trip!

It’s a tricky thing to balance your travel ideals with practicalities and logistics which has meant there has been some compromise in being able to meet all the ideals of responsible, ethical and constructive/empowering world travel. But, hopefully as we go we are able to travel well, and share little bits of life we people we meet along the way.

Shakedown tour to Davauchille's Bay in Akaroa Habour

 It seems to fit! I’ve done a bit of cycle touring before and loved it – the independence of it, being able to stay in small villages that regular tourists pass through, meeting children along the way as they honk your horn and adults who seem amazed by the maps we carry. It’s a cool way to travel! It also hits some of our other things we are passionate about like simplicity, low impact and mingling and mixing with locals along the way!

Despite having done a bit before – we still are not exactly sure of what to expect. But some things we hope to ponder/discover/experience might be - 

  • To learn from the people/communities and cultures we are with and experience life and friendship in these places
  • To discover how different communities experience and express their understanding of the world
  • To contribute meaningfully where we are (hopefully surveying and teaching can be a part of this)
  • To think about how our lives here in NZ affect others around the world
  • To cope with the physical, emotional and environmental challenges we come across

I introduced Andy to this song by Midge Marsden (A NZ artist) a few weeks ago and we thought is was fitting as a bit of a theme song for the year - well worth a listen if you don't know it! Check it out here: Travellin On

We're travellin' on, We're travellin' on
Each town we met, is our happy home,
Well if we aren't here, then we must be gone,
Travelling On

We've been North, South , East and West,
Most places in between,
Well I think we could, I know we could,
write a book on where we've been
Cos we don't know where we're going, but we do know where we've been
Travellin On, Travelling On.....

Enjoying wild pears along the Little River rail trail on the way home.

Phew – that ended up long, well done if you are still reading. 

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Miri (& Andy)