Auckland / Christchurch

Hey gang-

just a quick check in from overseas.  We spent 2 days after the race in Auckland and had a great time.  The day after the race I was totally exhausted with a nice headache from several post race cocktails so I decided to take a “chill out” day to pack my bike, take a nap and spin out my legs.   We finished the day with a really nice dinner at the Sky Tower which overlooks the whole city of Auckland and rotates 1 full circle per hour.  The weather was crystal clear for the first time all day so it was awesome to see the beautiful city.  I love all cities that overlook water and Auckland doesn’t disappoint.

Yesterday was our last day in Auckland so we took a road trip to Rotorua which was about 3 hours away.  We did a gondola ride, two luge rides down the mountain and Dawn and I put on our adventurous hats and did a Sky Swing.  The Sky Swing is basically a little chair 3 people can get strapped into, you get lifted 40 meters off the ground (feeling like your going to fall out forward the whole time) and then you pull a chord which releases your little chair and you swing through the air over a cliff.  It was so fun/scary/exhilarating and the video they took of us was classic.  Dawn is screaming and I am stone faced in fear!  ha.

After the little adventure park, we drove to the Redwoods where we hiked for about an hour.  The redwoods are unreal and the hiking/running/walking trails were absolutely spectacular.  I wished so badly I had my running shoes with me.

Today was our flight to Christchurch.  Given the earthquakes they’ve had here, the city is pretty much in shambles, which we didn’t realize when we booked our flight.  So, we decided a few days ago we’d fly into Christchurch and then rent a car to make the 6 or so scenic drive to Queenstown.  All went smoothly with flight and car rental, but about 2 hours into our drive South to Queenstown, we realized we’d gotten on the highway going North!  DOH!  We only have 2 days here on the South Island so it wouldn’t have made sense to turn around and drive 8 hours back to Queenstown from Kiakura.  We made the best of our snafu and enjoyed a day in Kiakura seeing the beautiful beaches and scenery, ate some (more) wonderful local food, and then visited the seals at a lookout.  There is nothing cuter than a fat baby seal!

We’re back in Christchurch tonight and are planning on venturing tomorrow to Mount Cook, the highest peak in New Zealand for some hiking and exploring.  We’ve had a great time so far.  There’s been absolutely no shortage of good food, great wine and delicious beer.  I’m looking forward to our trip to Sydney on Saturday…I will try to check in when I can!  Wi-fi is hard to come by!

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