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Monday, December 31, 2012

Where to tour next?

Well, my tour in New Zealand is done and dusted, and now my thoughts are turning to preparations for the next tour. It's not clear yet when or where this will be, but Patagonian Chile and Argentina via the Carretera Austral is high on the to-do list. However this tour will take more than my annual leave allocation, and I am not yet sure how I will pull it off.

Another possibility is a return to New Zealand. There is the northern part of the South Island I have yet to tour, and I have not set foot on the North Island at all. An NZ top to bottom tour also appeals.

One thought is to take a short motorcycle tour of the North Island in 2013 and accumulate some leave for a Patagonia tour in 2014. Or perhaps I could just take leave without pay.

And there are several potential tours here in Oz - a return to Tasmania for a clockwise Giro, Adelaide to Melbourne via the Great Ocean Road, the southwest of Western Australia, or even Melbourne to  Brisbane via the Snowies and an inland route I mapped out some time ago.

The NZ tour went well, although the weather was much colder and more unsettled than on my previous visit. Due to a last-minute unforeseen bike issue I had to fall back on my road tourer, which necessitated some changes to my planned back roads itinerary. Nonetheless it handled the gravel road conditions quite well even on skinny 32mm tyres, and on sealed roads it is hard to beat.

Given the weather conditions, I would have been dubious about taking parts of the planned route anyway. There is nothing quite like cycling down a remote alpine valley watching wave upon wave of advancing snow storms to heighten one's safety awareness.

You can read the NZ tour journal via the Gone Fishin' link in the sidebar.


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