Dodgey Transport

Dodgey: (adj.) sketchy, questionable
(n.) transportation, in our case mainly bike, bus, and hitch-hiking

Dodgey Transport I
I haven’t had much luck biking in New Zealand. Nelson says that, like many other things, a large part of being a good biker is having confidence. On our first three bike rides I got a flat tire, a flat tire, and broke a derailleur. Setting out for our fourth bike ride you could definitely say that my bike-confidence wasn’t at an all-time high, but I’m not sure that it would’ve affected the outcome of this story.

We were biking down Victoria St., in Hamilton, and came to an intersection. We were at the front of the intersection and a city bus was behind us. In Hamilton the city busses are called “Go Bus”. I’ve since come up with some better names for them (like “STOP! Bus” or “Go to hell Bus”).

As we pulled through the intersection there was a car parked on our left. The bus driver decided that we weren’t going quite fast enough and wanted to pass us. Unfortunately she tried to pass a bit too close and side-swiped me. My bike ended up under the parked car and thankfully I did not end up under the back wheel of the bus. I wasn’t hurt much, just some scrapes and bruises and sore muscles, but my bike confidence is shattered for the moment.

Dodgey Transport II
On Friday after filing a police report, which hopefully will lead to the bus company repairing the bike, Nelson and I headed to Raglan. Matt and Sylvia were nice enough to offer to drive us there. Knowing their time-management skills we should have been wary of the offer from the outset, but since Raglan is only about a half-hour drive from Hamilton we thought it would be nice. Thrusday night Matt and Sylvia left us a note saying we would leave at 10 am, and we told our next wwoofing hosts, Phil and Bernadette, we would be there around noon, leaving plenty of lag time.

When Matt and Sylvia didn’t wake up until 9:30 I wasn’t too surprised. When we were packed and almost ready to go by 11 I was actually impressed. But then Sylvia suggested we eat some lunch before we left and I thought “Oh no, here we go”. Lunch involved making avocado smoothies and more juice. I called our hosts and changed our arrival time to 2pm. We did get on the road a little past noon and to make a long story short, after stopping to buy avocados, getting a guided tour of Raglan, stopping at two scenic overlooks, passing Solscape once, visiting an organic farm, and chatting with a very cool Maori farmer, we made it to Solscape.

It was a good lesson in patience. I tried to meditate. When Sylvia got out of the car for the sixth time I cursed. I thought about how my sister would approach the situation and took the more civil route. In this case I suppose the transport wasn’t dodgey, just my attachment to timeliness.

Dodgey Transport III
Raglan is absolutely lovely. The town is cute. The ocean is beautiful. Solscape is great. Although we were looking forward to avoiding transport for a few days, when we arrived we found that our room here was a refurbished train car. Sooo cute!

It was about 5pm once we got settled and Phil told us we could have the evening off. After our last two stressful days we decided that we could use some wine, and were upset that we hadn’t thought of it during one of the many stops we had made that day. By our estimates town was only about 2-3km away, so we decided to walk in.

Apparently we underestimated. It took us about an hour and a half to walk down. We had brought headlamps and so we weren’t too worried about walking back in the dark, but it was going to be a long walk. We picked up some wine and food for the next few days and headed back up to Solscape. Raglan was a nice hippy town, and traveling with a big strong guy made me brave enough to try to stick out my thumb. The first three cars didn’t stop. I was mentally prepared for the hike back up. My feet were hurting. But the fourth car was a little hatchback with a case of beer in the back driven by a blonde-haired angel named Cam. Funny enough he was doing his masters in the psychological and social studies of waste. I don’t think he knew that he had inadvertently picked up his best potential case study in Nelson. Cam lived just a block away from Solscape and dropped us off at the bottom of the driveway. Turns out that hitching was the least dodgey of all of our transport experiences this week.

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