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On the 2nd of November I boarded a airplane in Boise Idaho and landed in Auckland on November 4th, love that worldwide date line. Air New Zealand made the 23 hour journey all most nice, however at 73 journeys of that size are onerous on the physique. The journey began from Christchurch on the south island and ended 19 driving days later in Auckland. This was my second Edelweiss tour, the primary was Iceland in July 2022. These excursions are firstclass with a choice of bike in wonderful form, on each journeys mine was a R1250GS, skilled guides, good motels and eateries, effectively although out routes and relying on the tour nice sight seeing alongside the best way. The Journey: 2023 – New Zealand by Bike / Official Guides Weblog of Journey: NSZ 2302 New Zealand Tour / Hyperlink to 2022 Iceland Tour
As you possibly can see should you observe both NZ hyperlink, this was a tour that noticed a variety of the New Zealand driving each the north and south islands. In all of the 21 day tour is a bit over 3,200 driving miles. The roads have been 98% paved, the two% was development and chip sealing. Official velocity limits are 100KM and under. Velocity indicators ending in 0 are the official restrict, indicators ending in 5 are strategies and are yellow. Generally the NZ drives are probably the most courteous I’ve ever encountered, I believe street rage is nearly unknown, and rushing is uncommon and the native police take rushing severely. There are largely round-a-bouts, some effectively designed and a few fully bizarre with as much as six exits. The roads we rode, largely secondary are slim, twisting and have extra turns per mile than any you’ll encounter out facet of the Alps or Tail of the Dragon. I stay in Idaho and journey mountain street on a regular basis they’re freeways in comparison with a few of these. Blind corners are frequent! Hazards, most RV (that are pushed largely by vacationer) as they are often doing 10 kph round a blind nook, assume driving right into a wall, farm gear, cattle (largely sheep), rocks on the street, street harm as a consequence of earth quake or flooding. On our tour we had 4 rain days, three of them it actually got here down at instances, so have a very good rain swimsuit or water proof gear. Count on the roads to get slick and restricted visibility.
Tour Group: We had 15 visitor and three information for the primary 14 days and 5 visitor and two information for the final 7. The guides have been all Germen – Austrian and plenty of the friends have been additionally from Europe. The remainder of us have been from the USA this time which I suppose was uncommon as previous excursions have largely been from Europe and the UK. The group naturally broke down into two driving kinds. I’ll discuss with them because the Racers and the Tourers. The racers have been largely within the RIDE, tended to take the corners sooner and did not appear to be all that taken with being vacationer. The Tourers, tended to need to journey slower and wished to cease for footage, go to locations of curiosity and never go the automotive, truck or RV in entrance simply since you might. By the best way passing with a gaggle of 8 riders on these roads is Russian roulette in my opinions. If you have not guessed but, I used to be a staunch member of the Tourers.
Sightseeing / Driving Stability: Of the 2 excursions I’ve taken with Edelweiss I believe the Iceland tour bought the steadiness higher, we rode between issues to see every day. In NZ we rode and sometimes stopped to have a look at issues many day. Some days may very well be outlined as nice roads with espresso stops at 10:30, lunch at 12:30, espresso cease at 15:00 and resort between 17:00 & 18:00 with dinner at 19:30. I felt we rode by plenty of locations that I might have stopped on a self guided journey. Do not get me fallacious we did cease and do some actually attention-grabbing issues, I might identical to to have ridden a bit much less and seen a bit extra.
The northern extension had 5 visitor (4 racers & me). After a day of chasing tail lights in a heavy rain, I went to the information and stated I wished to change to self-guiding which is all the time an choice. My bike was outfitted with a GPS (Garmin XT) and the deliberate routes. I additionally had the resort tackle which if the GPS died might with Google Maps get me to my mattress for the evening. Whereas I rode just like the NZ drive and stopped for extra footage and at time simply to go searching and speak to folks, the remainder of the journey I arrived inside + or – 10 minutes of the group, usually earlier than. Why, I did not take 30 minute espresso / nicotine breaks and far shorter lunches. Typically I bumped into the group, or extra probably they drove by me 4 or 5 instances a day as we have been doing the identical route. They have been happier to not be ready for me and I did not really feel the stress of racing to maintain up. All future excursions my bike may have a GPS, realizing the place you’re going and the subsequent end up of a round-a-bout make a large distinction. Talking of excursions, my subsequent is Scotland in August 2024.