Rest and relaxation

Biking is great, but relaxing is also great. I get the first one (I wouldn’t be on a second bicycle tour if I didn’t think it was great), and I’m slowly beginning to get the second one. Relaxing is important, and it’s important for a number of reasons: a) you’re body, contrary to what I’ve stated elsewhere, is not a machine that will keep going forever, b) not doing something actually helps you enjoy doing something, c) there’s something about smelling roses and that seems to require stopping.

Yesterday we took a bus from Wairoa to Napier. It felt a bit like cheating until Chris said “I came here to have an adventure and bike around, but I also came here to enjoy myself.” What a novel concept.

On top of that, everyone we talked with said we should avoid riding on this stretch of road. It was windy and it was hilly and it didn’t have much of a shoulder and it was crowded with army convoys, logging truck, and one speeding inter-city bus. Taking the bus was absolutely the right call.

We got off the bus in Napier, quickly assembled our bikes, and were on our way to Havelock North. A friend of a friend offered to let us stay in her cottage for as long as we wanted. I’m not sure what our expectations were, but they were certainly surpassed. The cottage and house are surrounded by gardens and there is a stream with a waterfall in the backyard. It’s wonderful. We’ll take a day off here to relax our legs are plot our next adventures.

There is something nice about going to sleep in the same place you wake up. I suppose that’s why people don’t typically move around day after day after day. It’s nice to be grounded. Anyway… here are some more pictures of New Zealand. Enjoy.

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We walked along Ocean Beach, a stretch of empty sand that extended for miles and miles. The people in the distance (yes, they’re really there) constitute the “large crowds” that were taking over the beach.

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A pleasant path among “The Bush.” All of New Zealand was covered in forest like this just 150 years ago. It is daunting to imagine the work that went into clearing the many hillsides we’ve biked by.

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