What a great welcome to Auckland, New Zealand! It couldn’t have been better. Grace, who I met in Nepal in the Kopan Monastery just recently moved back to NZ for her studies and stays with her lovely grandpa Graham and his wife Jayne. Such a cool family – I felt home instantly.

Every night there was full house, I the German felt like a minority. When I arrived there were 6 Americans over, is that the first wave of Americans leaving their country? Jayne is a fabulous cook and we had great dinners every night, so tasty and so much fun. Fish which was caught the day, Pavlova or fish tacos. All so yummy and the Pavlova recipe will be online soon!

Graham took us out for a day on the boat fishing. I could hardly remember when I last went fishing, must have been as a young boy. Obviously at that time I wasn’t patient enough and didn’t catch anything. So I lost interest as it was too boring and not rewarding. This time it was different and I liked it!

We caught some nice Red Snappers which we cooked for dinner. So another tick off my bucket list – although I’d like to eat fresh sashimi from a self caught salmon. We also harvested some fresh Uni and giant clams. Had some on the boat and the rest at home for dinner. What a perfect day!!!

Judith a friend in Singapore hooked me up with Jeff who runs a bakery in Auckland. He bakes the best pies in town – unfortunately we didn’t have time to cook them together but I got some for take away….I hope he shares the lamb pie recipe with me as it was absolutely delicious.

And I had the perfect home to sort out my bike stuff and prepare for my cycling adventure. Found a decent bicycle rental shop in downtown and got my gears sorted. Luckily Vale told me about a cycle shop in Melbourne and I got my main outfit for 100US$ (600US$ RP). So I’m all sorted now to start into my next big adventure.

Last time I went on a bicycle tour was back into Highschool times when I was 16. That time with my old friend Holger…

For now I’m just grateful to have met so many open and friendly people during my trip. I got big support and it makes me happy. I’m off south through New Zealand now….

I almost didn’t want to leave, seemed like I found a second home…

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