Groundwork

Oh no! I haven’t been cycling… But I will! I promise! The last few days have been very much about preparation. In addition to trying to increase my funds by living the simple life in Dorset with a beautiful family, I have spent a good deal of time conducting research and spending all of the money I am supposed to be saving.

This week, I bought a tiny little netbook so that I can continue blogging whilst I am away, without breaking my back lugging around the ancient old beast. I got a great deal and am currently road testing. It is an ASUS EeeBook and weighs less than a kilo! It also claims to have 12 hours’ worth of battery which will allow me to keep in touch even if I don’t manage to find a charging point. So far, so good though I am yet to really put it through its paces.

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My new companion

Additionally, I have purchased a head torch as I am off to camp this weekend! I found a site for the bargain price of £6.50 per night and I can’t wait. The cooking equipment is last on the list, so I’ll be treating myself to pub grub – yum!

Actually, my diet this week has been heavenly and I think that I have found myself a new cycle treat. It will involve a food processor, though… I am not sure if I am ready to take such a bold step. You have to check out Ella’s Sweet Potato Brownies. They sound absolutely revolting but they are a taste sensation and totally refined sugar and wheat free. Hey – if it’s good enough for Djokovic, it’s good enough for me!

After planning the imminent camping for this weekend, I began looking into what is likely to be the most challenging night’s stay of New Zealand – New Year’s Eve. I worked out that I would be roughly around Kawhia in the North Island. It turns out that there aren’t that many campsites right out on the coast, but the place I have found looks incredible. You can even borrow shovels to go down to the beach and dig your own hot pool. If that isn’t the perfect way to end a week’s cycling, I don’t know what is!

Before heading off to actually sleep in the tent, I thought I should make sure all of the bits were present and correct so I put it up for a preliminary test. It was incredibly easy. So easy in fact that I wasn’t sure whether I had done it properly. Obviously, it started to rain the instant I had secured the fly so I had to leave it up until it dried out again. Unfortunately, in a garden used by four children, five adults, two dogs, chickens etc etc, it did suffer a little damage and one of the pegs has bent. Other than this, and the fact that it is absolutely tiny, it’s perfect. I settled for the Zephyros 1 in the end and you can find a very helpful YouTube review here.

My portable home

My portable home

I’m in absolute bliss here but keep eating too much in the evening to go for a cycle – I think I am still catching up on sleep from my crazy end of term as well. This morning I did manage to get myself out of my gloriously comfy pit for a slow and steady jog to the beach and back. I’m not sure which excuse to bring out first; I kept stopping to take pictures, there we lots of styles to cross, I got a blister, I was dehydrated… Whichever way I look at it, it was better than doing nothing at all and I simply loved soaking up the views.

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Dorset is quite a county; I feel so at home here. The scenery is amazing, the people are friendly and the laid back lifestyle just makes me happy (if a little sleepy). New Zealand is going to be like this but even more beautiful – I can’t wait. I do keep worrying about the hills but hey – life is a challenge, right?!

Today I also received a gift from Facebook in the form of an article on a businessman with a difference. The guy is living my ideal life. Somehow, I need to emulate him. A must read blog for any traveller; I’m hooked already. Perhaps I will spend the next few days taking notes on how to make my voice more interesting to Joe Public. In the mean, time, if anyone knows Mr Johnny Ward, a business meeting would be incredibly well received!

Happy camping, all! x

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