Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Wanasa Wanaka

I had found a nice cafe that opens really early in town so we left at sunrise which is 7:30 am here. And after breakfast we had reload our bikes since we removed every thing yesterday to pack our riding gear when we went on the cruise.

On the way we saw a caravan of caravans which looks like they were rented and on tour. We also stopped near Queenstown and bought a 4 terra hard drive since Ali's hard drive is inaccessible and mine might act up soon. We decided to take a different route than the highway which put us in a very nice and twisty road towards Cardrona passing many farms and running through valleys.

At the we reached the lodge and found it was run by a wonderful couple , we were staying in the main house with three very nice rooms. After we rested we found out that the lodge lends tenants bicycles so we got three and rode into town exploring before heading for the restaurant for dinner. Wanaka is very touristy with many clothing and souvenir shops.

Tomorrow we head to Franz Joseph Glacier.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Milford Sound way

Today we planned to visit Milfourd Sound and take a two hour cruise. In the morning we had a quick breakfast in Casa De Ali with toast and yogurt and some green tea. We were advised to leave early before all the tourist busses were unleashed so by 9 am we were on the road unfortunately it was still overcast and the clouds hid the mountains so when we reached mirror lake there was no mountain to mirror.

But as we rode on the clouds started to part and more vistas were revealed . We stopped two more times at lookout places and viewed wonderful nature and glaciers. There were many tourists and a few were flying drones for some aerial photography.

about 20 km before reaching Milford Sound we reached a stop light with a timer that was counting down from 8 minutes and a tunnel. It seems that the tunnel is one way at a time , while waiting some birds got really close and one was on Ali's bike with them came a sign "Don't Feed the Birds" .

After the tunnel there was a sharp descent and we reached the parking lot only 20 minutes before the boat was scheduled to depart with no idea where to go. First we needed to take off our riding gear and store it in the bikes, then we needed to split up to see where to go and keep in contact with our phones. Ali was done first so he left for the docks and I left for the offices only to discover there is no cell service. Once I saw the map Husain and I started to walk towards the docks and met Ali midway , there was no time only 10 minutes if we didn't make it we would miss out on the cruise. So we quickly walked helmets in hand until we reached the ticket office and off to the cruise , not two minutes after we were on the boat did it depart.

The cruise would takes us all the way to the sea and back, on the way we got to see the mountains and the different shades of granite in the rock from the different metals. We also saw small penguins hiding in the beach , many waterfalls and seals laying on a big rock. The biggest waterfall was Stirling and the boat got right up and close to it.

When we got back we had a small break at the cafe and started to ride back right when the rain started to fall, another light for the tunnel but this time it was green , and the rain stopped. There were so many cars and campers right after each other that we were glad we were on motorcycles overtaking them one by one was easy with light bikes especially on twisty roads.

We reached the hotels with time to spare for laundry and a proper meal at a classy restaurant. Tomorrow we head back north to Wanaka.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Beautiful Road to Te Anau

It rained all night and when we woke up it was still 6 deg C since we wanted to eat at a nearby cafe that was supposed be open at 8 am but the sign said 9 am. Since checkout is 10 am there was no time to have breakfast so we had some toast, dates and tea and rode on south.

It was cold and within the hour we were climbing Lindis Pass where temperatures reached 3 deg C. Although we were wearing all that we could it was still very cold and we were happy when the road started to descend. Later the temperatures got much better and we started to see double digits.

Mid way to our trip we passed Lake Wakatipu and stopped for some photo opportunities before taking a break at Kingston . The fuel light went on about 40 km after that and we stopped for fuel after another 20 km or so.

Once we reached Te Anau we  walked into town the lake is very nice , and there is plenty to do and see. This is truly a touristic town with many tour booking offices and souvenir shops.

Tomorrow we ride to Milford Sound and take a cruise , let's hope the weather is good.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

One hour gone

When the alarm woke me up I was confused the phone said 5:30 but the clock said 4:30 so I got on the net and realized that today was the start of daylight savings time and that we had lost an hour. Knowing this I went to the hotel reception when they opened at 8  and asked for one hour late checkout. Australia and New Zealand both have checkout at 10 am in most of the places we stayed at.

As we expected it was drizzling on and off , so we went for breakfast at good restaurant where the locals go on Sundays. It was packed and we had to sit on a small table. After breakfast we started to load up the motorcycles and managed to leave before 11 am . There was light rain and the roads were wet , we also were getting used to handling of the new bikes.

initially the weather was cold but bearable. then it got really cold and down to 5.5 deg C . at times we would get strong side winds and the overcast was constant. We passed by some very nice scenery and finally parked in front of Lake Pukaki , the color was different a light turquoise that we have not seen in a lake before . Unfortunately the clouds covered the mountains and Mount cook could not be seen.

Husain's bike started to warn that fuel was low and before we entered the motel we filled up at a gas station . Once we arrived we realized that the motel was under new management for a week now. There was no internet and no guest laundry service.

We rested and warmed up for a while and then walked into town for a meal. on the way back we stopped to buy some food a grocer for Ali's late night snack. tomorrow we head further south to Te Anau .

Saturday, September 24, 2016

We have Bikes...

New Zealand is two hours ahead of Australia's east coast so we arrived at midnight and managed to get through immigration and customs in less than an hour. This might be because Christchurch is not that big a city and not alot of travelers go through here.

We got a taxi to the motor lodge where a sign on the door told us what our rooms were since the reception was closed. In the morning we went out for breakfast and in the afternoon we took a car to the rental office to pick up the bikes. We wanted to try something different so we rented BMW F800GS bikes, while we were there we met John who was still preparing things. Initially we ordered one GPS , and then Ali wanted to all to have GPS units.

Ali's bike wasn't filled with fuel so John filled it, then I asked about the registration and he had forgotten to add the road tax so he bolted out quickly to do that. With all the paperwork and preparation it took us 2 hours to actually get on the bikes and leave back to the hotel.

We realized that it was much colder than we expected so we went into the mall and stocked up on thermal clothing and liners to layer up for tomorrow's ride to Twizel.

Friday, September 23, 2016

To Christchurch NZ

Today was a long day and we know it before hand , So we left for Brisbane right after breakfast hitting the highways , who know there would be so much traffic? We arrived at a hotel that we had booked for a few hours and started to unload the bikes and prepare them to be shipped. Husain put his drone on his bike and we all rode another 35 minutes to the depot where are bikes were received to be shipped back home. We then took a taxi back to the hotel and packed up our riding gear , rested a bit then headed to the airport.

When we got there we found out we were flying on New Zealand Air. Checking in took along time since Ali's passport wasn't going to the proper authorities when it was scanned. Luckily we had arrived early and once passed immigration and customs we had a bit to eat at a cafe waiting for our flight to leave it left on time and was expected to reach Christchurch at midnight.

tomorrow we need to get the bikes from the rental company and prepare them for our New Zealand Adventure.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Hello Gold Coast

Yesterday we woke up to the sound of rain, and admired the view while birds start to play.

We had breakfast quit early and left with haste, since the rain would delay us reaching the place.

Of sun and beach and warmth all the day , the Gold Coast is where we wanted to stay.

On the highway there was a thought in my mind, where is my phone did I leave it behind?

At the next rest stop we inquired and all was revealed,  my phone was in fact 150 kilometers from here.

The Hotel patrons called back with an idea in mind, "We'll send it with a courier you should have it in time".

A fuel stop later and while we rest, we met some locals with some interest .

Many questions were asked and we replied, We like making friends who wave us goodbye .

We will ship our bikes home and in three days receive,  new rented motorbikes in New Zealand I believe.

For now we will enjoy the Gold Coast with it's sun , who knew this place would be so much fun.

Beach walking and shopping , and souvenir hunting all with kids week events and tram hopping.

We peaked out our windows and guess what we found? A member of the biggest bike group in town.

Tomorrow we must deliver our bikes in Brisbane and catch our 6:30 flight.