Tag Archives: desert road

Heading south for the winter. Pukekohe to Wellington.

Gentlemen! Start your engines.  We have set off. Managed to get the trailer sorted by Wednesday afternoon so Thursday morning get the air up and off we go.


Now like all good adventures you need a plan.  After all how can you tell if it has gone wrong if you don’t have a plan.  Looking on the TomTom at the route I thought we would run as far as Tirau and park up there for the first night and then jump the Desert Road the following day.  I was looking to get to Palmerston North by the weekend, to meet up with Ed Teece.  When we lived in Sharjah the Teece’s were are best mates and Ed and his brother Will, were big mates with my two daughters.  Weekend would see us on the beach or up the Wadis picnicking or BBQs while the kids set fire to anything they could find that would burn. Ed is all grown up now but thought it would be nice to catch up.

Any way Got to Tirau in good time so thought, press on to Tuapo and make that the night stop. Tuapo saw me arrive just after lunch, so what the hell, let press on we can stop at the war museum on the desert road.  Nice flat parking area a few takeaway spots or just cook in the bus. Inshallah. So Friday morning sees me wake up to 8 deg C on the desert road and almost a day ahead of schedule.


Roll in to Palmerston just after lunch. Get parked up.  Idea was to meet Ed on Saturday as I did not want to impact on his weekend.  Using Google maps located an Irish bar with in walking distance Thinking behind this was. A couple of pints and some Jockey’s Whips and then off to bed.  First pint of Kilkenny and post the event on Facebook.


Ed sees this and messages me.  Had I arrived?  he would drop down and have a beer with me.  This of course led to. Come back to the house and we’ll get a takeaway. Then the offer to stay.  This I declined as I had not planned on being there until the following day and had left the bus heater running and all the lights on.  I promised I would stay Saturday night and his partner Jo said she would do a roast dinner.

Saturday was very bright but had been windy through the night and the temperature had dropped.  but we all met up and went for a walk

then back to Eds for beer, wine and a lovely roast dinner. Sunday, Ed and Joe provided bacon butties for breakfast and I returned to the bus.  My plan was to set off towards Wellington but it was 10 o’clock and I needed to stow everything before I could travel so I decided I would leave early doors Monday morning.  Spent the day tidying up and packing most things so I could get an early start.  Looked at ferry timings and prices but decided I would park up close to wellington on Monday and book a ferry for Tuesday or Wednesday.  Nice NZMCA park poped up at Plimmerton which is about half hour from the ferry so that were we headed.  Settled in and set the computer up so I could book the ferry on line and also up date my Tom Tom.  Coming down from Palmy the new express way was not on my maps so I was a bit in the dark to where I actualy was.  The nice lady on Tom Tom ke[t telling me to turn left at the end of the road then turn right but I’m bowling along at 90 on a duel carageway with no exsits.  not used the new computer to up date TomTom befor and of course it could not see my device,  After much messing around and trouble shooting it appears that all the USB ports are USB3 and TomTom only works on USB2.  not sure what I did but eventually we’re connected.  7 updates availabkle 3 hours forty minutes remaining.  Hate it when it says that.  We had a few goes befor we managed a clean download and then it had to up date the device another 40 minutes.  Any way look like we are up to date now.


Going to be cold tonight so light the fire now it too bloody hot  cant win.  bet it goes out around 4 in the morning and ill wake up freezing.

easy drive to the ferry but arrived a bit early.  Got to the check in line and it was closed.  Now it did not say when it would open or if it would open so I went around the block.  Anyway a guy stopped me and said it would be 12 before it opens and I would be okay just to wait outside the terminus and park in the shuttle bus bay.  This I did and went for a coffee.  Get back the bus and another guy says “you cant park there.  Go around the corner and find a spot there you’ll be alright there”. Get parked up and finishing my coffee and the first guy appeared and said that I was okay in the original spot and the other guy was new.  Anyway we have opened the check in just for you so head down there now and the lady will sort you out.  And she did.  First on the wharf and first in lane 5.  While waiting I heard on the wireless that they had closed the desert road behind me, so that was a bit of luck.






New Start

Well finally got around to starting my blog again.  It all went pear shape due to the bloody awful connectivity in NZ.  Vodafone claim 95% coverage of North Island, what they don’t tell you is that’s only in populated areas and as most of NZ is empty, when you hit the city limits the phone goes blank.  I have now switched to Spark which, although not much better does have free Wi-Fi spots dotted about in strange places.  We will see.

My plan on returning to NZ for their summer was to head to South Island for a few months “Tiki Tour”.  After the events over the last couple of days, which I might add are still ongoing, I may have to re-schedule.  The infrastructure, roads and communications seem to be in a mess and will be for some time.  Guess there will be workarounds and alternative routes and I guess as I am not in a particular hurry or have any particular destination in mind should not affect me too much.  So currently parked up on my daughter’s path watching the news and planning my next move.

I managed to get my Royal Enfield certified and registered so all street legal.  The local dealer said it could not be done and basically said the bike was scrap.  My first thoughts were to ship it to Cyprus as if you pay enough money to some local, anything is possible.  Anyway I found a guy in Wellington who said he could do it for me and just before I set off for my 4 month in Cyprus he rang to say it was all complete.  he suggested I did not register it until I got back in October.  Fair play, dropped him a mail as I left Cyprus to say I was on my way and low and behold he got the rego done.  Ten hours on the train from Auckland to Wellington on the Thursday and a night in the backpackers hostel and I collected it on Friday morning.  She did not want to start.  after a plug change and a few kicks she was up and running. In hindsight I think a service prior to setting off on the 600 kilometre ride would have been prudent, but hey ho, will know better next time. We did the trip in two days, well one and a half. My big fear was getting stuck on the desert road.  This is pretty remote but once I got to Waiouru I decided to push on with a vague plan to find somewhere to stop for the night once the desert was behind me.  As it happened I got to Taupo and stayed there for  the night. Up early on the Saturday and rolled in to Pukekhoe and home around midday.  By now the Enfield was coughing and farting like a docker who smokes Capstan Full strength.

Now looking for a trailer so I can take the bike with me to South Island but it needs to be covered and have brakes.  the brakes on the bus are drum brakes and you have to stand on them to feel any effect.  hopefully a braked trailer will help a bit in shortening the stopping distance.