Travel modalities: Bicycle, Airplane, New Zealand's biggest SUV
Time: 11 hours
I'm dreading this morning as I know it's bike packing day. I force myself to wait at the hotel until 8AM, so I can time my arrival to the opening of the Boat Shed Cafe in Frankton, convieniently located on the way to the airport.
I purchase a box from Air New Zealand and am directed outside to the bike building area. There are repair stands with hanging tools and pumps. I'm shocked. It takes 15 minutes to go from the first pitcture to the second and another 15 minutes to the third.
I try to shoot cool pictures from the air, but I'm sitting over the wing.
I rent the widest automobile I've ever driven. Most tourists start in Auckland and drive somewhere else to fly home, so there's often a rental car shortage in Auckland. If you're willing to pick up a car in Wellington (or probably anywhere) and drop it off in Auckland, it's practically free. I pick up some luggage I've left with my very generous Wellingtonian host and we go out to lunch at one of my old favourites. I almost order chicken and waffles.
The drive to Napier is excruciatingly long. The size of the car and being forced to keep it on the wrong side of the road ensures that the very annoying lane assist is constantly trying to take over. I debate turning it off for a few hundred km. I try to take a picture of a rainbow, but even with some filter enhancements, it's hardly visible.
I run into some old friends. While I've been away, Napier appears to have developed a nightlife.