to tour New Zealand "next" ever since we returned from
southern Africa in 2004. Somehow we kept finding
other things to do or other places to see. Until
we learned from Fred Rau that Fred Rau Tours, in
conjunction with Te Waipounamu Motorcycle Tours was
conducting The Ted Simon New Zealand Tour in January,
2010. The opportunity to travel and converse for
a couple of weeks with Ted Simon, and with Fred, and
with veteran NZ tour operator John Rains was too much
Here, Ted Simon leads a group of riders to a rendezvous at the Patengata Tavern in the Hawkes Bay area of the North Island just prior to our overnight Farm Stays on several local farms.
|New Zealand was created for
motorcycle riding and the people of New Zealand have
done little to mess it up. It is purely a
wonderful place to ride. Voni and I did little
group riding with the tour group. With our
destinations planned and a GPS to guide us after we
got lost, we were mostly content to strike out on our
own in the mornings to rendezvous with the group for a
lunch stop, or at the hotel each evening for dinner.
|The roadway engineers in New Zealand
have not felt compelled to cut down every hill and
straighten every curve. Many of the bridges
remain one-lane only. Traffic yields when
necessary and moves on in a friendly, orderly
|Voni and Ted Simon take a stroll on
the way to dinner the evening we stayed at the Larnach
Castle near Dunedin on the east coast of the South
||The scenery is spectacular throughout
New Zealand. For motorcycling we preferred the
South Island because it is not at all congested, the
mountains and lakes are magnificent, and the towns and
cities are small.
|Having left the Chihuahuan Desert in
southwest Texas mere days before, we found the foliage
pleasing and inviting. Here, Voni hid her F650
motorcycle amidst the flowering bushes.
|One distinct advantage to touring
with a group, which we haven't done since Africa 2004,
is that the finest of foods always awaited us - each
morning for breakfast and each evening for
dinner. We don't eat this well at home, and
almost never when traveling "on our own".
|It probably comes as no surprise that
we both thoroughly enjoyed the desserts. And
also not a surprise that Voni particularly liked the
desserts that were heavily laden with chocolate.