Meet Hilda, the Nissan Tiida, the vehicle responsible for helping us explore New Zealand.
After an incredible two days in the Bay of Islands we headed back to Auckland with dread to discuss retuning our disastrous bikes. It was a hard decision to give up the cycling dream. We both had a cry into our stolen Fiji Airways pillowcases stuffed with our clothes, to save on space and weight during the bike tour, of course. But in the end we had no choice but to listen to the expertise of a number of honest bike mechanics. The bikes we were sold were just not good enough. Ones that were would have cost a small fortune.
We’d had a strange experience at the bike shop Adventure Cycles when purchasing the bikes in the first place. We spent 4 and a half hours in the bike shop waiting for them to be ‘fixed’ and ‘prepared’ for our adventure. I think maybe in that time we should have gone with our instinct and not purchased the two tin cans on wheels but the guys at the shop had a strange passion for giving the kiss of life to bikes that really should be put down. Perhaps naively we trusted their judgement that the bikes would allow us to travel both the North and South Islands.
After talking through the problems we experienced with the bikes: a broken pedal, break failure, loose wheel spokes, getting sent the wrong parts to fix our problems and having mechanics from other shops tell us our bikes were unsuitable for our journey we negotiated getting most of our money back. Result. However we left feeling slightly patronised. We were asked whether the cycling was ‘just to hard’. Frustrating considering we had not even been given the chance to test ourselves on the big climbs!
Anyway, we were free from the troublesome bikes and we drove away in Hilda finally feeling that we could get our trip started. With a car, motivation and a tent we could really head anywhere.
First stop, the Coromandel Peninsula.