New Zealand 2021 – the planning

 

Although in the beginning we started to write this blog with genuine intent to go to NZ, we realise now that it’s not going to happen. Shame but life goes on…and we leave our thoughts here for posterity.

The beginnings of the discussions…

“I thought you were kidding”.
“No, deadly serious. There is unfinished business in New Zealand”.
“But it’s expensive to get there”.
“I know, but you want to go don’t you?”.
“Suppose so – but we’ll have to camp to keep the cost down”.
“Camping? Let me think about it…..”

So that’s how it started, and it’s serious. Over the next few months we will share our thoughts and plans to see how we get on the plane to New Zealand.

EARLY STAGES (March 2020)

So once we had made the commitment to go back it was time for a reality check. That included things like:

Questions
1. Can we still cycle 70-80km a day with luggage?

 

2. Are our bikes up to it?

 

3. How long should we go for?

 

4. Do we really want to camp?

 

5. How can we afford it?

Answers (nearly)
1. Probably we can, but it might have to be at the lower end of the range!

 

2. We have just had an extra low gear put on both bikes; so yes.

 

3. That really depends on what we want to see and whether we mix it up with trains and buses.

 

4. Not really! But we have the equipment and a lot depends on the budget.

 

5. That depends on the flights, the time and, of course, the camping!

We are not pretending that we have all the answers, and maybe not all the questions! But we have made the commitment and that is the important thing at the moment. The next thing to do is to make the commitment firmer by booking the flights – lots of surfing and blind alleys but once that is done – hopefully in March 2020 – we are properly committed. Then it will be on to the next stage of planning the route and maybe looking forward to more arm wrestling!

To be continued…….

Mid march 2020. Quick update – Coronavirus seems to be tightening its grip on the world so maybe now is not a good time to be booking flights. On the other hand…

 

Update – 25 March 2020

It seems that all bets are off for now due to the Coronavirus and the virtual banning of international travel for the foreseeable future. We had hoped to firm things up in early April and book flights but the ban, and in particular the non-acceptance for now in New Zealand of any foreign visitors, has led to a complete stop on any thoughts of travel let alone planning. Shame, but we have to do what we have to do. We can only wait and hope that the world comes to terms with the need to beat this virus so that we can still get some flights in January 2021. In the meantime we will, when we can, continue our circumnavigation of the coastline of Britain (see Coastline blog elsewhere)

 

To be continued…we hope.

It’s now early May…

 

…and we’re still in lockdown. Very tempted to book flights through Trailfinders as they seem to have a decent guarantee – but its still a risk when NZ are still not allowing foreigners in and have just said “It will be a long time before that ban is lifted. Patience Mike!

June 2020

Well, its June now and no sign of foreign travel – heck, we can’t even go to Wales or Scotland! I know I’ve called for (my) patience in the past but it is getting serious now. On a good note, New Zealand hasn’t had any new Covid cases for 17 days but still the travel restrictions apply. And the UK Government has just introduced a 14 day quarantine for travellers coming to the UK – too much, too late.

Still unsure about booking flights so will just have to console myself by buying a new touring bike (Titanium no less) – when I can get to the shop to buy it!

Early July

Lockdown being slowly released now and although we can travel freely in the UK and Europe, New Zealand is still off limits. I suppose they are being ultra cautious but there are reports of their tourist industry, the country’s biggest, is bleeding to death. We’ll keep on checking the flights to see if things change.

 

Early October

Well, here we are in October in England and is about 8 degrees and raining – as it has been for the last 48 hours. The trees outside are orange and very autumnal.

As far is New Zealand is concerned, its not going to happen in 2021 and maybe never again. The country is still doing well with covid cases but has not opened its borders and there does not seem any prospect of that happening anytime soon. So the bike box is metaphorically put away and we are concentrating on cycling the coast of Britain (see other project blog) and going to Europe with our camper van next year – we hope. So, plenty to do, to see and to achieve; but still a shame about New Zealand.