Our next guest to be hosted at the Rurus was this fella Eric, from the US.
We had received an email from another FB friend whom we had met travelling in Vietnam to ask if we could connect to share our wisdom of adventuring Aotearoa by bike. Hell yes, and so we did.
It doesn’t take much to inflate an air bed, set an extra plate at the table, put laundry through the washer, nor share shampoo and soap. Especially when you have an opportunity to press the flesh with like minded adventurists and spend an evening swapping stories from the bike seat.
Eric touched down in Auckland, then headed north to Cape Reinga at the top of our islands. His route after that was to follow a Te Araroa Trail designed for two wheels.
It didn’t take us long to be laughing with him as he described descending from the light house on a track that we had taken when we stepped off on our TA adventure, where the track stopped at the bottom of the first decent and then we had to bush bash versus tempt a beach skirt run in-between unforgiving waves.
Huh, Eric did too! Pushing his mode of transport through soft sand speedily so as not to be sucked out into the Tasman Sea, took some effort and time. Once Eric reached 90 Mile Beach, he decided to ride under the cover of darkness.
The eyes reflecting from his bike light and head torch had him on edge. He knew that New Zealand had two mammals, referring to our bats. However, Eric had never ever seen ‘land bats’ before. Nor whether they were the blood sucking vampire types.
Neither have we. Ever seen land bats.
And thank god we don’t as well.
They were the furry pest, the opossum!
Our time with Eric was full of tales and banter and laughter, as those sitting around the camp fire telling stories should be like. Except it was our dining room table.
His first long distance cycle ride was across the US when he moved from the West Coast to the East, just over 7,000 kms taking 2.5-3 months. It was his way of leaving behind an old life to start a fresh new one. We were drawn into it having the merit of ‘what was’ instead of ‘what is’.
We consider ourselves extremely fortunate to be inspired by global citizens the likes of Eric. It keeps our passion to explore our planet more while we still have our health. And marbles.
His favourite section of the landscape, the Old Ghost Road on the West Coast of the South Island. The trail itself keeps you in the present; it’s majestic scenery takes you to adrenalin heights of emotions literally. Awe and then some. We have yet to do it. Later this year before it becomes a coca cola track. His words of advice, don’t carry the shit he did. Travel light.
Ironically, his other thoughts on his travels of New Zealand – he wished he had of learnt German before he came down under and, who the f..k invented the #8 wire to fence off the landscape. It made it nigh impossible lifting his bike up and over!
“It’s our wall to prevent tourists coming to our shores and falling in love with it that they want to come live here” was the response. Jokingly naturally. It keeps the bigger mammals in their place.
Imagine night riding along 90 Mile Beach and the reflective eyes you encounter in your head light are at shoulder height or taller, versus what you did experience?
Taniwha’s aren’t something you would want to be biking into. In the dark. That’s for sure!