I am now on the other side of the World, under Australia, on an island in the Western Pacific.  Way Down Under, here in New Zealand, I am quite in awe of the topography – it is majestic.  I will try to do the views justice with the photos I share, but they will pale in comparison to actually being here – it is difficult to capture the scale and get the full scope of the surroundings; incredible – I was certainly taken aback after 25+ hours of travel to arrive in the land famous for being the backdrop to Hobbits and Orks and realize that CGI can’t even match what nature has produced here!
 Not much to share about the traveling part of getting here – it was planes, planes, and more planes, mixed with a lot of people and lots of security check points.  One of the more interesting things to happen en route,  was when I was finally in Auckland, going through security one last time to get to my domestic flight.  While inspecting my bikes, the security agent had to go process something and turned to me and said, “I’ll be right back, here’s my knife, go ahead and open up the other box – just don’t go around on a rampage stabbing anyone or whatever…”  That was a really funny moment at 8:15am, after a 13-hour flight.  I said to her later, “I just have to say, no where else in the World would a security agent hand me a knife and just walk off like that – I’m impressed.”  To which she replied, “Eh, yeah…we’re not really supposed to do that, but, I trusted you enough…”  Amazing.  Welcome to New Zealand.

The view from the hotel dining area isn’t too bad.

  After a very informative van ride from the airport to the hostel, I had a much-needed hot shower, some food, and then set off exploring the town.  It is a tourist-driven area, so it has a strong multi-cultureal feel.  There are all sorts of out-door adventure driven businesses and seeing people riding bikes around town, covered in dirt, or backpackers looking weary is pretty much the norm.  It isn’t peak season yet, as it is still Spring time, so I can only imagine how crazy things will get once everyone is here on holiday.  I’m off to continue exploring, and I’ll try to report back with something a little more exciting for the next post!