On the last day of November, I found myself in Auckland – the largest city of New Zealand. This was my second time here. The first time was six years ago on my round the world trip when I was too lazy to write a blog. However, back then I wrote an article about Auckland (for money), whose main purpose was to explain how the North Island of New Zealand looks like a fish and Auckland would be its anus…
I wanted to buy a bicycle in Auckland and then spend the next few months (as long as New Zealand’s summer weather allowed) cycling. Back in 2008 I travelled mostly on the South Island (including by bicycle) and now I wanted to concentrate on the North Island.
I spent ten days readjusting to civilization and rediscovering shopping therapy. I needed to buy a lot of things for the bike, but my first priority was shoes since I had nothing but slippers on me coming from the tropics. And my first day in Auckland was very cold.
I also tried to take care of my 3-4 tropical ulcers that had developed while I was in Vanuatu. They started as small scratches or mosquito bites that I scratched and got so infected that by the time I arrived in NZ they were huge and deep. I am not posting pictures because they were pretty disgusting. They ended up not healing and with me paying around 300 NZD to doctors and for two type of antibiotics. Now I have some pretty nasty scars on my legs, but the wounds have healed. I had thought for a long time about getting a tattoo while in the Pacific (that’s where tattoos come from originally). Got myself some scars instead. Same thing, aint it!
Buying a bicycle does not happen overnight. I wasted a couple of days going to all the chain bike shops that had 50% discounts for Christmas. But they are quite expensive to begin with. Finally I made it to a shop called Adventure Cycles that a few people had already recommended to me. It’s run by an ex-American guy named Bruce who is a cycling enthusiast. They have some pretty good deals for used bikes and take things very seriously.