02 May

HAYWAY episode 42 – Picton, NZ

We’re almost a stone’s throw away from home in this week’s How Are You? Where Are You? podcast.

A lot of road has been traveled between Christchurch and the top of the South Island and we’ve been blessed to meet some brilliant people as well as enjoying outstanding autumn weather.

We thought we had left all the beautiful scenery behind when we left the West Coast but the mainland has continued to delight especially when riding the lonely Rainbow Track through the country’s biggest farm. The weather tried to spoil the party that day but like what has happened so many times on this journey, the following day’s bright and brilliant sun erased any memories of struggle 24 hours earlier.

Two of the most moving things to happen to us since we arrived back in the homeland occurred on this final leg. One was a visit to Baden’s old stomping ground of Christchurch to see all the positivity to arise from the trauma of a devastating earthquake in 2011. The other was a visit to the Te Awhina Marae, the Maori meeting house in Motueka where we were privileged to be formally welcomed on but also to hear cycling comrade Nick sing.

Peanut butter is the fuel that has kept our wheels turning since we arrived in New Zealand so we went to inspect the Pic’s factory in Stoke for any performance-enhancing qualities.

Oh and something shat on Baden’s face.

Rediscovering Christchurch

Cycle touring in New Zealand

Clockwise from top left: Rita Angus’s ‘Cass’ at Christchurch Art Gallery; Shelley and Baden on route to Hurunui; our digs in Governor’s Bay; brilliantly shot photo with Baden and buddies Katie and Conan; Baden and his other mate Lola

Riding the Rainbow Track

Cycle Touring in New Zealand

Clockwise from top left: Rainbow Track day 2; Nick and Guk smash a stream crossing; Fowler Hut interior; Nick tries to show us the way to go; break at Fowler Hut; on top of Island Saddle, NZ’s highest accessible road pass.

Motueka Inspires

Cycle Touring in New Zealand

Clockwise from top left: Motueka mural; Sean from Te Awhina Marae; the famous “Moist Maker” sandwich; Baden and Nick ride the backroads to Motueka; Te Awhina Marae.

Final Days on the Road

Cycle touring in New Zealand

Left to right from top: Monica, the tour leader at the Pics factory; something shat on Baden’s face; a provincial curry in Picton; illegal drinking in Picton; day 2 on the Rainbow Track; Rainbow Track river crossing; dog whistle; movie watching in Nelson; Nick and Pikiora at Te Awhina Marae; Sedgemere Hut on the Rainbow Track

Our Final Leg in the South Island

14 Apr

HAYWAY Episode 40 – Cardrona, NZ

Like the hopeful miners of the 1860s New Zealand Gold Rush, we too struck the precious metal while cycling through central Otago.

In this 40th episode of the How Are You? Where Are You podcast we follow in the footsteps, or even the cycle tracks, of the kiwi pioneers along the mighty Clutha Mata-Au River where we find signs of the bygone days.

What the hills surrounding the Clutha lack in altitude, they make up for in stature. They hem you in as you ride along their valleys.

Baden hones his sheep farming skills in a visit to a high country sheep farm and enters a heated discussion with Farmer Jack.

The week of cycling ends over a bottle of central Otago Pinot Noir while relaxing at the Cardrona Hotel, one of the country’s most iconic pubs. We reunite with cycling comrade Nick who decided to cross the Crown Range with us to be hooked up with nice food and good times.

Music Credit: Southern Man by Denis Henderson

Sharing the Road

Cycle touring in New Zealand

Clockwise from top left: Baden and Shelley in a reenactment of the gold rush times in Arrowtown; plaque marking the site of the first gold find in central Otago; asking motorists to not run us over; Shell cycles the Clutha Gold Trail; a tree blocks the trail’s path; can’t get enough of the mighty Clutha.

Over the Crown Range to Cardrona

Cycle touring in New Zealand

Clockwise from top left: Baden and Shelley on top of Crown Range, New Zealand’s highest sealed road pass; The cycling couple grapple with the gradients; almost beer o’clock at Cardrona Hotel; seafood platter and Speights; Baden and Shelley as mere specks on the road.

The Clutha Valley

Cycle Touring in New Zealand

Clockwise from top: High country sheep farming up the back of Shingle Creek; Clutha Mata-Au River revelling in fine sedimentation; it was hard to find which way to go in Clyde; Farmer Jack surveys the flock

Our Ride From Gore to Cardrona

31 Mar

HAYWAY Episode 38 – Rakiura, (Stewart Island) NZ

We’ve made it to New Zealand and without trying to sound deliberately cheesy, it’s blowing our minds.

Our journey so far has seen us arriving in Queenstown in the South Island (Te Waipounamu) and riding out into the Central Otago wilderness.

We visited the magic of Fiordland and pedalled into the land of good buggers in Southland.

This was recorded this a few days ago on Rakiura or Stewart Island – a beautiful blip of land at the southern tip of Aotearoa.

Life in New Zealand is expensive but we’ve been loving tucking into the Jaffa Thins and meat pies and covering our eyes when it comes to doing the budget.

Being tourists in our own country is a weird experience, especially when it comes to taking local advice from a French guy sleeping in the back of an old van.

Arriving into Queenstown

Cycle touring in New Zealand

Clockwise from top: Baden goes walking in the back country; was great to see Mum Brenda again; Glenorchy train station; the views over Lake Wakatipu; ready to ride again.

Cycling Walter Peak to Mavora Lakes

Cycle touring in New Zealand

From top left: Dinner time somewhere up the Von River, taking the TSS Earnslaw over to Walter Peak Station; Shell's shoes are off for a river crossing; Shell navigates another cattle stop; one of the best campsites of the trip.

Milford Sound and Western Southland

Cycle touring in New Zealand

Clockwise from top left: where the road ends at Stirling Point Bluff; Stefan, the legendary Bulgarian psychiatrist; Clifden suspension bridge; Manapouri cheese rolls; Milford Sound or Piopiotahi.

Tour de Rakiura

Cycle touring in New Zealand

Clockwise from top: Baden and Fausto explored all the roads in Rakiura; bird man Matt; Baden tucks into a dozen oysters and a beer; Paterson Inlet in Rakiura; don't run over the kiwis.

The Riding Has Been Superb

14 Mar

Mobile library

EmpireThe Necessity of Empire – Slavery, Freedom and Deception in the New World
Greg Grandin

I started reading this because Baden insisted I read something relevant to the countries we were travelling through. I grudgingly selected Greg Grandin’s book and found it pretty enlightening.

Read More

12 Mar

HAYWAY Podcast 37 – Valizas, Uruguay

Apologies in advance for a navel gazing episode of the How Are You? Where Are You? podcast.

We’re finding it difficult to make sense of our trip and what we have learned. It’s also not easy to try and explain why we have decided to cut our journey short but we give it all a crack for you here.

It’s strange to think that we are about to start cycle touring in our own country. After eight years away there’s a whole lot of reacquainting to get done but they reckon the South Island is stunning so we’ll probably be alright.

We do all this while grilling meat and drinking red wine on a remote beach in Uruguay. It’s been paradise but travelling here without our precious bikes…well that’s been super strange.

If you are up for a read from someone who has written about the realities of cycle touring much better than we have been able to articulate, check out this blog. We felt oddly emotional about our whole experience after reading this.

Colonia, Uruguay

Cycle touring in Uruguay

Clockwise from top left: ruins of church and lighthouse in Colonia; lots of old cars in the streets; street sign for main square; street scene.

Valizas, Uruguay


Clockwise from bottom left: On the beach; big, empty beach; giant ice cream; our little beach bach; we built a raging fire a BBQ, or asado as they call it.

Buenos Aires


Clockwise from top left: statue on Avenida de Liberator; Juan and Evita Peron at the Evita Museum; interior shot at the Museum of Latin American Art; this is for cigarette butts at the bus station – a vote between Messi and Ronaldo for best footballer.

18 Feb

Mobile library

childrenofthedaysChildren of the Days
Eduardo Galeano
This book blew me away. Galeano also wrote The Open Veins of Latin America, so I expected it to be good. He uses each day of the calendar year to tell a story about whistleblowers, rebels and free thinkers from around the world, but particularly Latin America.

Read More

12 Feb

HAYWAY Episode 34 – Chiclin, Peru

We have been hammering it through Northern Peru. How did we get so fit? It seems like a lifetime since we were plodding through France trying to get used to this whole cycle touring thing if you consider a life to be 10 months.

Check out the map below to see our effort over the first 11 days of February. We talk about why we’ve been putting the pedal to the rubber-soled shoe if that’s an acceptable use of the phrase.

There’s been a lot of nothing riding through the deserts of Northern Peru but it has provided us with stunning scenery and plenty of time to contemplate some of the environmental issues in this part of the world, which we talk about in this week’s How Are You? Where Are You? podcast.

We were also invited to a sugar-fuelled rave masquerading as a 2-year-old’s birthday party and the quality of the cooking in Peru has been a big step up for this trip. The big question is why Shelley has been preferring to eat all this magnificent food with less-than-hygenic implements?

Desert Riding

Cycle touring in Peru

Clockwise from top: the road frequently stretched as far as we could see; we’ve been setting off early to escape the midday sun; whole lot of nothing; the only place selling drinks in the desert. Shame they weren’t cold.

Life in Peru

Cycle touring in Peru

Clockwise from top left: El Niño starts in this part of the ocean; Zika Virus warnings at the border; the famous King Kong biscuit; Peruvian moto-taxi

Sugar Party

Cycle touring in Peru

Clockwise from top left: party treats; with Lester, our party host in Sullana; Baden edges in on the cake; Duck rice; Manta Ray Omelette; Crazy hour at Stephanie’s party

Our Big Push Through Northern Peru