Pre-Ride Day 1 Mon 13/2. MEL – AKL

The weather was trying to get me acclimatized as I left home in the dark – it was warm humid and trying to rain – and I think the cabbie had his heater on as well. Checked in with Virgin nice and early and was through in a couple of minutes with a bag that had 500 grams to spare – actually a kilo spare as they said they would have allowed me 23.5 kg – now what else could I have brought.  Got all excited when I saw I was in row 4, but of course it turned out there were only 3 rows of premium economy – still nice to be near the pointy end.  Window seat, spare seat next to me and great views – most pleasant.

As I expected, getting through NZ customs took a while as they took my tent off and checked it out thoroughly but no dramas, and next stop was the Telecom New Zealand store where a very helpful man put a local SIM card in the Desire so I can spend the whole trip on line and not have to pay any attention to where I am or what’s happening around me.  Took the bus into town and even the few blocks walk to the hotel was more than enough – once again I find myself wondering how life ever developed in the tropics.

Very nice room and once I figured out you had to put the keycard in the wall slot to get the airconditioner to work (or anything else electrical for that matter) life was looking up.  Took a wander down to the wharf area then back up Queen Street and ended up having a spahgetti marinara and Sauv Blanc out on an upstairs balcony as the last of the light faded.

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