For previous blog entries of our ride through NZ, Australia, South East Asia, China and Central Asia, click on the little arrows beside the dates in the Blog Archive below and use the scroll down menu.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Christmas and New Year at the Sounds

Bruno - a polar bear

Ben, Kim, Briar, Alan, Lynn
Ben, Nick, Briar, Lynn, Alan, Kim

Briar, Nick, Ben

Tasty scallops

Ben's creations

Miss New Zealand - Lucy Hine


Lucy, Stevie, Neil

Bo - a wet doggie

More of the Hines - Andrew, Sally, Kate
Some one call a vet - that sheep doesn't look well

Us with Stevie, Lucy and Emily
Pre Mankini streak
Lucy, Rob, Stevie, Rachel

Lucy, Stevie,Ben,Rachel, Mary
The lovely Anna and Ian

Before we leave NZ tomorrow we just wanted to say a quick word about the fantastic Xmas and New Year we spent in the Marlborough Sounds. We hitched a lift from Christchurch(without the bikes this time) and arrived effortlessly at our friend Lisa's family home in Blenheim a few hours later. Hitching in NZ is pretty easy with most people happy to stop and pick you up.Thanks to Emily for getting our bikes up to the sounds. The Naysmiths whisked us off to their bach in Ngakuta bay for a Xmas unlike any other. Whilst everyone in Glasgow was freezing their nuts off in -5, we were swimming, waterskiing and basking in the 26 degree sunshine. Having said that, a white xmas back home is always amazing. Waterskiing was ace and I managed to get up(and stay up) on my fourth attempt. We relaxed, ate and drank well, mountain biked on the Queen Charlotte track and had a wonderful time. Thanks so much for making us feel like part of the family for a few days. We set off from Ngakuta Bay on the 28th and cycled 20kms to the Mahau sound. Catching up with our good friends Stevie and Lucy was great and as an engagement present Ben was presented with a Borat mankini. Ben's protests at having to wear such a garment were met with Stevie's argument, "you can't have someone bring you a mankini half way round the world and not wear it". Sound reasoning. So on New Year's Eve Ben treated us to a mankini streak complete with dive roll. It was over in a second(so no-one could get any pictures - damn) but has left many mentally scarred. At the sight of the streaking man, Lucy's Mum Kate set off in hot pursuit, paparazzi style, with a camera but just wasn't quick enough. Hee hee. What a good sport you are Ben! New Year was fun, with about 40 people turning up at the bach and the bells were celebrated with a customary jump in the sea. Lucy and Stevie brought us our new, super-comfortable Brooks saddles which the company gave us for free for our trip. Thankyou very much to Steven Green from the company who sent them out to us. We want to say a big thankyou to Lucy's Mum Kate and Dad Neil for all your efforts. Our friends Ian and Anna also made it down to the sounds to say bye to us before they head to India. Have a great time you two and we'll see you in a year.

So here we are back in Wellington, itching to get back on the bikes and start our 5,000 km tour of Oz. Being on bicycles has opened so many doors for us(as has being Scottish!), doors which would not have been opened to people whizzing past in a camper van for example. We have the time to stop and chat, and that's what this trip's all about.


  1. Hey Guys Happy New Year!
    Sorry it's taken soooo long- I didn't realise you could comment on the blog!!
    We always talk about you guys and miss you heaps!!
    Love and kisses!
    I got your email from Lisa so will send you a long letter about us!