Going back to the Shaky Isles...

In October 2010 I made my first cycle tour of New Zealand. I arrived in Christchurch shortly after a severe earthquake, and was shocked to see the damage wreaked upon this charming provincial city. So I vowed to return and try to make some contribution, however small, to the economic recovery of the region.

Little did I to know that far worse was to come - a second major quake devastated large sections of the city, many homes and many of the historic buildings that gave the city its charm and character were destroyed, including the iconic Christchurch Cathedral, and sadly, many lives were lost.

My first attempt at a return visit in 2011 was thwarted by a volcanic eruption in Chile - the ash cloud from the eruption circled the globe, and my flight to New Zealand was cancelled at the last moment.

In 2012 I returned to New Zealand to tour the Southland, but my route did not visit Christchurch. Now, a further two years later, I'm preparing once again to tour.

This visit I'm going to complete my explorations of the South Island, starting with a crossing of Arthur's Pass to the wild and wet west coast. And once again I'll be taking to some of the region's back roads.

So, return flights to Christchurch are booked, leave is approved, and a new expedition touring bike awaits. I'm ready to roll...