Day 1 - Christchurch to Arthur's Pass
Friday 13th July 2012 - Rian Cope
Today I finished work at 12pm and headed straight for home in our new car. Immediately I needed to pack up my gear into a bike box I managed to salvage from a local bike shop. With Jen’s help, the box was sealed and packed into the car. I still had about an hour to relax and spend some time with Jen.
Soon we were off to the airport. After some teary goodbyes I walked onboard and began to think about what was ahead. I sent Dylan a text message who was leaving from the Gold Coast. He wrote back to say he was checked in and waiting to depart. Our next adventure was beginning.
Was it going to be cold or wet or snowing, or all of the above?
I dozed off to sleep as I flew across the Tasman Sea to Auckland to meet Dylan.
Saturday 14th July 2012
I landed at 1.30am in the morning. I was wrecked. I managed a quick pass through immigration and customs. When I walked outside expecting to find Dylan waiting for me I soon found his flight from the Gold Coast had been diverted to Brisbane, giving him a new arrival into Auckland of 4:30am. I decided to find a quiet corner of the deserted airport and get some sleep. After an hour of sleep and a 4am wake up coffee, Dylan arrived and we walked our bike boxes over to the domestic terminal to check in for our flight to Christchurch. We now had an 8 hour wait in the Christchurch terminal before our bus would arrive to take us to the small inland town of Arthurs Pass. We found a special area dedicated to bicycle assembly where we took our time inspecting the bikes after their journey from Australia. We screwed, bolted and Allen Keyed everything into its correct place, packed our bags and gave them their inaugural New Zealand maiden journey of the Christchurch Airport Car Park. They both worked a treat.
I decided to catch the public bus into town to pick up some supplies we needed as the township of Arthurs Pass would have limited supplies. After arriving in the city centre, I was shocked to see the extent of the Christchurch Earthquake damage. Kilometers of blocks totally destroyed or damaged to the point of inhabitability. The area was fenced off as dozers were still salvaging and a temporary CBD was erected close by using shipping containers for replacement buildings. Very smart and cost effective. I found gas for my camp stove, some basic food supplies including tuna, bread, porridge and bananas. My visit into the CBD was brief and I was soon on the bus back to the airport where Dylan would be waiting for me with the bikes. Finally the bus arrived and we loaded our gear onboard for the final leg of travel before the adventure was to begin.
We stayed at the Arthurs Pass YHA where they had a special rate for tourists traveling by ‘Green Means’. After a sleepless 36 hours we were finally at our starting point. A warm meal and shower later, we hit the hay and dreamt of what was to come over the next few weeks.
After setting up the bikes Dylans hands (left) were much dirtier than Rians (Right). Could be from installing the mudgaurds.