I’ve spent the last few days killing time, as well as swapping hemispheres and seasons and climate. It’s all a little bit disorientating.
I actually tried to use LA’s ‘public transport system’ to kill some of the time I had before the flight went on Saturday evening. I even gave it a chance to take me to the city centre. It failed.
Having waited for an inordinate amount of time for a bus connection to the city, I headed for the beach instead. When I got to the end of the tram line, I discovered I was still two miles away. I waited for another bus. Nothing.
I gave up trying to actually get anywhere, and went for a burger. And then to LAX for my flight away. At least the airport looked nice (or as nice as airports can) as night fell.
Having struggled to kill eight or nine hours of wait time on Saturday, I killed Sunday effortlessly. By the time dawn broke after about 11 of the 13 hour flight, it was already Monday morning in New Zealand.
I presume that there’s some tedious law of physics which prevents one from fast-forwarding the date constantly by zipping across the International Date Line. Which is probably a shame, but would also probably make very dull sci-fi.
What’s important for me is that the IDL is directly opposite the Greenwich Meridian where I started. I’m actually halfway round the world. Strangely, every mile west from here takes me closer to home.
Of course, time will have the last laugh again. I’ve used up both my ‘big ocean fast-forwards’, meaning that the vast majority of the rest of the trip will be overland. And therefore slow. I’ve just left the Beast with a local bike shop to prepare.
Auckland feels very much like home initially. There are the obvious marks of proper civilisation. The roads are the right way round. The Queen’s head is on the money. People can spell properly. And it’s drizzled constantly since I arrived.
It’s actually more complicated than that, of course. Auckland city centre is gridded, like an American city. There are US chains which haven’t made it to Europe, but flourish here. There are masses of kebab houses, sushi bars and Chinese students, adding an Asian tinge to the culture. And of course, there is the Maori influence too.
So it’s very much like home, and a quite different at the same time.
It promises to be an interesting few weeks exploring NZ. The volcanic north island, the fjords in the south. The whole place looks stunning (when it’s not shrouded in rain). It also looks hilly, which makes me happy I’ve got time to explore properly.
Just hope the drizzle stops occasionally…