Moi, là-dedans, je m’amusais de plus en plus avec mon vélo Hello Kitty à Hualien, avec cette idée de tour de Taiwan qui me démangeait de plus en plus. Il faut avouer que ça me faisait flipper, de partir sur les routes à vélo comme ça pendant plusieurs semaines : j’ai même jamais fait de randonnée de plus de 4 jours ! Alors j’ai trouvé un compromis avec moi-même : j’allais pédaler la côte Est de Taiwan. De Taitung à Hualien.
When you decide to go on a bicycle travel trip, for a long period of time or not, you kind of face the same old fears that when you decided to go backpacking for the first time… ‘How do I pack my bag in a smart way’, ‘which itinerary should I follow’, ‘which gear should I buy’, ‘how could I avoid selling my kidneys to replenish my bank account’, and the same old ‘how do I stay alive while travelling the world?’ (yeah, I did ask myself that one more than once), in other words how to achieve your traveling goals, and in that case, on a bicycle…?
He’s taking me on his motorbike to show me the city. I’m getting kicked in the face by Ho Chi Minh City. When I first arrive in a new country, there’s always at least a little bit of cultural shock. I’m trying to grab the meaning, the direction, the movement of lives, of people. It’s not as much of a surprise because I read about Vietnam. I’ve seen so many pictures and movies.
But right now, on Alessio’s motorcycle, that’s a whole different story: I’m experimenting Vietnam through a complex range of sensations.
Except that Taranaki’s shitty weather seems to be around here too. First snows have fallen, and even if the hike is doable, the conditions look really bad. And the fog, the rain are ruining the views. Not to mention that… the Ruapehu volcano is slowly awakening!
Flo, aka Monsieur Wellington, and I are leaving Northland driving our Nissan Tilda to explore the western part of North Island which neither of us had seen before. After dropping Martin and Wiebke in Paihia, here we are, just the two of us, singing at the top of our lungs some silly songs on the radio. We’re driving through green fields.
Today is Wednesday and my heart is heavy while I’m leaving South Island for good. I land at Auckland airport like I did on my very first day in New Zealand, except that now Monster is lighter and that I know exactly where to go to catch a coach towards the city centre. It’s raining outside and the sky is grey. I only have one month left on North Island before leaving the country for good. Ouch. Same for Flo, aka Monsieur Wellington, who’s having only two weeks left here before flying to Hong Kong and then going back to France. That’s why we’re meeting up again, for our very last road trip in New Zealand.