January 24, 2002 - Arrived in New Zealand

Note that there is no January 23rd entry. That's because there was no January 23rd. I left LA on the 22nd, crossed the International Date Line during the flight and it was January 24th when the plane landed.

The trip from LA to Auckland was pretty uneventful. It took off about a half hour late since someone who had checked in didn't board and they had to unload their luggage. It turns out they decided to take an earlier flight on Air New Zealand--their luggage is still in LA.

Arriving in Auckland, the bike case came out wet, which I couldn't understand. After wiping at it, it seems that they disinfected it on arrival. The airline seems to have been rather hard on the duffel with the trailer. It is full of holes, including a rather large three-corner tear.

I took the bus to the ferry dock, where my friend, Mark, met me. The waterfront has changed quite a bit since I was here last, with a big Hilton right on the waterfront on its own wharf, next to the ferry terminal. Ther area behind it has been rebuilt as well, as the America's cup compound. Evidently, all of the syndicates are here and one of the New Zealand boats was being towed out as the ferry left for Waiheke. I hope to get over there in the next couple of days since the Volvo Ocean Race boats are here as well. They start the next leg of their round-the-world race on Monday.


Arriving on Waiheke, Marine and I stuffed the bike case and giant duffel into her small station wagon. Amazingly, it all fit. We headed off to Rocky Bay, on the South side of the Island (actually Kauakarau Bay next door), to their new house overlooking the Tamaki Straits. A wonderful little house, designed by Marine and built by her neighbors. It has a terrific view and great sunsets.

After chatting for a while with Marine, I unpacked the bike and trailer (and everything else. The recycled bike case worked perfectly, but the baggage handlers must have really thrown around the duffel with the trailer. They managed to bend a tab on one of the trailer dropouts, even after I had put in a spacer to keep them from getting crushed and padded it with foam pipe insulation. I'm sure that the rear fork would have been bent without the spacer. It was a minor repair, fortunately.

Everything went back together without much fuss and after a short trial and tweaking its seems back to normal.

When Mark arrived home, we had dinner while watching the sunset and catching up with a couple of years worth of news, serious jetlag kicked in and I collapsed in their guestroom.

Updated: 16 March 2002