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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

Jordan & Anna

NEW ZEALAND | Monday, 8 June 2015 | Views [436]

It seems that no matter where I go in this world, I always end up back in New Zealand. I'm back now for what could be an annual winter sojourn to Queenstown. This time I flew from Melbourne to Christchurch. In all the time I've been in Australia and New Zealand this is the first time I've flown straight "across the ditch" as Aussies and Kiwis colloquially call it. For my time here I'm staying with a couple named Anna and Jordan. They're in the midst of planning a grand cycling trip from Singapore to Düsseldorf (Anna's hometown). Preparations are almost complete and they're setting out late next month. The other night I got in very late whilst it was -1 out, having to walk all the way from the CBD to Cashmere (about 4 or 5 km). A hot cup of green tea never felt so great afterward! And then I wondered how I slept in until 2:30 PM the following morning. Since I was tired I wasn't really up for doing anything much. I went out, got some fish & chips, and scoped out a few geocaches. Each new place is uncharted geocaching territory! Along a lovely creek I walked I found a few before I got my unhealthy meal. Fish & chips (or fush & chups, depending on who says it) are both better and cheaper than in Australia. The pies in NZ are much more varied as well. After seven months or so in Melbourne I'm ready for a bit of a change although I'll sure miss both Jo and Andy. Jo really treated me like her son in Melbourne, putting me up at her place until I was on my feet and then we became housemates. In a previous blog entry I note how she's a wonderful cook. I'll certainly be back in Melbourne, but I'm just in need of a change of scenery and here I am! Jordan and Anna live in a small flat and their garage is an old WWII bunker. Interesting, eh? 

Jordan invited me to his parents' farm in Darfield yesterday. In his words, Darfield is a shithole but his parents' farm and the area around it are lovely. Upon entry I was immediately given a plate of roast lamb with potatoes, carrots, and peas. Vicki is Jordan's mum, and she's a fantastic cook as well! Whilst Jordan and his father, Greg set up some tents that Jordan plans to sell, I decided to go for a bike ride and find some geocaches. Jordan and Anna have a profitable enterprise of buying things at garage sales and then selling them on TradeMe for a substantial profit. When you're really up for making some money, there's always a way! I was two for two on geocaches searched for today. When my stinky, sweaty self arrived back at the farm, Vicki offered me a coffee and a slice of homemade apple walnut cake. Tasty! Vicki and Greg haven't travelled much though they're planning to visit Jordan and Anna in Europe sometime next year.

Their cycling trip will last nearly two years and will cover more than 35,000 km. I suggested starting in Bali and making their way up but they don't want to take any ferries. There's a lot bureaucracy through it all, regardless of what route they take. Russian visas are limited to 30 days with no extensions possible. The border between India and Myanmar isn't really open; to cross is a Kakfa-esque nightmare costing hundreds of dollars and with millions of permits. The only way to really get a visa for Turkmenistan is to get a 5-day transit visa, so they'll really have to pedal their way across 250+ km. In Iran, all woman, including foreigners have to wear a headscarf, and visas for Pakistan are expensive and rather tricky to get. I must not forget that I have my own cycling odyssey planned, if I can ever get out of debt! I keep saying "soon" but it hasn't happened soon enough! One day, that odyssey shall happen!

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