Work has been great! I just got back from a trip down to Wellington and Christchurch. Any time you get out of the office is nice.Wellingtonwas pretty average, grey, windy and cold – the usual for Welly.Christchurchthough was bluebird skies, sunny and fairly warm. The flight down was impressive and looking back I wish I had my camera. The mountains were stunning. After the dumping of snow we had earlier in the month they are all covered and looking amazing. The best I’ve ever seen them. Super scenic.
September is looking good for work travel too! I’ve got heaps on the go and spring starts, so no complaints here. I’m off , to Wellington and Christchurch again. I’m loving it! Just found out that I will be heading to Queenstown mid September, so I have tacked a couple days on that trip to do some riding!
I maybe getting to GoldenBayfor some back country riding near the end of the month.. fingers crossed! It all depends on timing and funds!
The Rugby World Cup is only a week or so away and I’ve just scored some tickets too the Canada Vs Tonga game.Ill be going with another Canadian and a couple of Kiwis. STOKED!!! Life is good.
This past weekend I got to ride some new tracks around Auckland. I was pretty stoked to get shuttle-runs in, without having to make the 2.5 hour drive to Rotorua. The plan was to hit up Maraetai on Sunday where they run monthly shuttles. I always get a little nervous before I ride a new DH track, as you never really know what you are going yourself into, but in the end it wasnt too bad. They had 1 steep downhill track called ‘the trig’ which was wet, slippery and muddy. It wasnt a long track as it only took a few minutes to get to the bottom. It had some jumps, but overall it was just steep and slippery.The track def wasnt the best ive ridden, but not bad for around Auckland. The track needed some trail mainteneace as it was pretty rutted and in need a serious sweep since it was covered entirely in needles making line choice a bit sketchy. I think there were 8 trails at the drop point. I didnt ride all of them as i was told some were pretty cross-country which wasnt why i was there. I wanted down, fast, flowy with some jumps. I pretty much spent my time between ‘the trig’ and ‘two dead cows.’ My favorite of the day was definitely ‘two dead cows!’ It was a bit more flowy with a variety of jumps, from nice booters to some step ups.
Overall it was a great day! It is always good riding some new trails. Once summer hits and it really dries out it could be sick. The local mountain bike club is investing a lot time building so it is definitely a spot to watch. If you do plan to ride there make sure you get a permit as it you need one to be allowed in the forest.
It is not too often you get experience something that happens once in 72 years and today was one of those days! What happened? Well it snowed in Auckland. It hasn’t snowed in Auckland in 72 years. It’s not unusual for the south island and the mountain in the north island to get snow, but for it to reach this far north is pretty crazy.
The bitterly cold polar blast that is hit both north and south islands has closed roads, schools, airports and cut power to thousands. The snow has made some roads impassable and down south people are being asked to stay home and stay off of the roads.
Met service believes that more snow could fall over the next couple of days. The snow is not sticking around in Auckland as the ground isn’t that cold, so it wont accumulate. But it is still quite the event. People on Queen St are kind of just looking upward at the snow, wondering wtf! I love it.
Now you can’t really compare the ‘snow storm’ to anything Canada has, but to a kiwi this is a full blown winter storm. Pretty funny to read about and I am just glad I am not on the roads. I know how Canadians drive after the first snow storm of the year (terribly – you would think they didn’t see snow every year!) so I can’t imagine how a kiwi would drive. Yikes.
Ive been living in Auckland for over a year now and I just can’t understand why everyone hates on this city? If you are from Auckland and you travel anywhere else in New Zealand you will hear this familiar term ‘JAFA,’ which means ‘Just Another Fucking Aucklander.’ I’ve met people from Auckland who cringe when asked where they are from because of the response they will get from other kiwis. In one case a taxi cab driver pulled over and tossed his Aucklander passengers out of his cab because they live in Auckland! How could someone make such a rush judgment about a person just because they live in a certain part of the country.
In any other country Auckland would be the ideal holidaying city. It has a temperate climate, plenty of nice beaches, cool neighborhoods, 2 harbors and enough going on that you won’t be bored out of your skull. I’ve met plenty of kiwis from outside of Auckland that feel the people living here are not friendly – I haven’t experienced that. Auckland is a small-big city with a very friendly feel. If you were to give the city a chance you will most likely enjoy yourself here. I’m not saying that backpackers should base themselves here, but to trash it and really only spend a couple days in the city is not giving it a fair go. Recently I met one backpacker who hated on the city, but now calls it home and has realized that it not such a bad place after living here for a while. Don’t get me wrong, Auckland isn’t for everyone but to say it is not a good place to live is totally untrue.
When I lived in Toronto it was the same thing with the rest of Canada. Everyone hates Toronto. The crime, the pollution, to busy, to much traffic, rude people.. ive heard it all and to be honest I was hater until I lived there. Once I gave it a chance it really grew on me. When I first thought of moving to NZ I didn’t really think I would be based out of Auckland, but when I scored a great job here why wouldn’t I give it a shot. I don’t regret it at all.
I think it all comes down to hating the ‘big guy.’ The UK hates London, Canada hates Toronto, Australia hates Sydney, everyone hates America and I could go on. Hating really doesn’t do anyone any good. So if everyone could just understand that the ‘big city’ isn’t for everyone and that really in the scheme of things you shouldn’t knock a place until you’ve actually lived there the world would be a happier place.
The newly renovated Auckland waterfront is looking great!
Auckland’s grimey waterfront has now had a major facelift just in time for the 2011 World Cup of Rugby! They built a new spring bridge to connect downtown Auckland to the Wynward Quater where all the cool new attractions can be found. The once industrial waterfront is now filled with tourist friendly restaurants, bars, cafes, art displays, kids play area, walkways and even a 1920′s red tram which loops the around the waterfront showing off all the new attractions. There is even a piano under a veranda that is free to use.
This past weekend over 50,000 people visited the newly $120 million renovated water front area and 4000 of them qued to ride the tram loop. It will be a huge pull during the World Cup and a great area to visit while in Auckland.
It’s back to the grind for me! My month long vacation has come to an end and I am now back in New Zealand. My trip home was amazing. It was great to be able to catch up with my friends and family. My month consisted of visiting friends in my home town, a couple trips to Toronto to visit old co-workers, hanging out with my young niece and nephew, helping my brother move into his new house, and two weeks of bliss at the cottage. To be honest I think I forgot how beautiful Canada was. Maybe I took it for granted, but going home with fresh eyes made me realize how lucky I am to be able to live in Canada. I know I rave about how stunning and amazing New Zealand is, but Canada is right there beside New Zealand.
Im now working on obtaining residency in New Zealand and hopefully it will be a smoother process than obtaining my second work visa for New Zealand. I love being in New Zealand. It just feels like a second home. Flying into Auckland felt great, it just felt right. Don’t know why, but it did. I do think I will move back to Canada one day, but for now New Zealand is home and I feel lucky to be able to call it that.
So what is in the forecast for me? Of course lots and lots of riding! Taking a month of the bike has let my shoulder fully recover – sweet! I keep thinking to myself I should have a more balanced life, not just riding in all of my sparetime. This is easy for me to say and hard for me to do. All I want to do is ride on the weekends/evenings, but I am going to try and make a effort to mix it up. Meh.. we will see, but odds are Ill be riding just as much or more a year from now. Who am I kidding I live to ride and ride to live.