I headed north up the coast, the ocean on my right and the lush green landscape of farmland encircled by mountains following my left for kilometers. I pass golf courses and nature reserves. Migrating birds zig and zag along the path hovering on small thermals in the bog-land before setting down in the mire left by the low tide. Along the fine gravel path other cyclists, dog walkers, runners and meanderers pass. I wonder if they are unfazed by the beauty around us. I wonder if it’s become all too familiar to them. A routine. The tide either in or out – being the extent of their daily observances. There’s so much undisturbed terrain – left to the wilds – probably all explored by curious children or travellers. Possibly left as is for the sole point that humans shouldn’t wreak havoc on every inch of the world. The trail ends at the sandspit, one of many in the area. I turn my bike around and find the path out to the roadway. I need to return to work in an hour and I fancy making my way through town on my way back.
Summer started a week ago, so it’s slightly surprising to see snow on the tops of the mountains in the distance. December is a rainy month. It’s rained for most of the past week and next week they’re calling for seven days straight of rain. Low pressure systems slide down the coast of Australia and move over the islands here often stalling out for days on end. It wouldn’t be so bad if brilliant thunder storms accompanied them, but they’re rare in these parts. And seeing as I work in a weather dependent business, this rain is a huge bummer for my first month here.
But making the best of everything is mandatory when I’m so far from home. Last night we went for an evening swim. Well, I got in up to my waist and then my legs went numb. My Kiwi friends are far more tolerant of the cold Tasman Sea. I felt like a wuss, but perhaps I’ll get over my cold feet and put my head under before the week is out, or at least before the second bout of rain inundates us. Or maybe I’ll just wait until January when it’s typically drier and hotter here. I still have no complaints about this four month journey. I’m one week in, and while I miss home and what would be winter there, I’m glad I took this chance and came here. New Zealand was calling. In my experience I’ve learned that simply answering that inner voice with some form of action is the best way to live out my truest life.