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Retrouvailles

04 May

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Retrouvailles, New-Zealand : going to Waiheke

4 May 2017 | By | No Comments

Cyril and Elodie have been travelling through New-Zealand on their way to Wellington the capital, then farther to Waiheke island.

bike trip

“After travelling through the South island, it’s time for us to take the ferry to Picton to reach the capital of New-Zealand, Wellington !

The crossing on the ferry took us 3 hours and it was beautiful ! We sailed through the ‘sounds’ or ‘little fjords’ and we saw beautiful landscapes (we were lucky to have such nice weather.) We even came accross dolphins playing in the waves of the boat : the Hector’s dolphin (the smallest in the world) and the common dolphin.’

The activity of the capital was in contrast with the almost uninhabited island the couple just travelled through. However there were very few vehicles on the roads.

After visiting the capital (25mn on foot to go from one end of the city to the other), the couple began their trip to the North of the island, along the ‘Hut River Trail’. It’s an old railway.

aevon bike trailer

‘Only a part of this trail is really for MTB because of the collapse of a bridge where we have to cross a river. Our Aevon bike trailer meets our expectations. Mud, sand, road, it follows us easily. We almost never have to question ourselves whether the roads we will be using will be compatible with our bike trailer.’

Then Cyril and Elodie continued their trip to Whanganui with a beautiful view on the volcanos.

At Turangi, spas offered to take a hot bath coming from natural sources. Then from Turangi to Taupo, 55km on the bikes offered an amazing view on lake Taupo, the biggest in the country.

‘Upon our arrival to the city of Rotorua, the smell is very strong. The city is build on a sulfur deposit and there are holes everywhere in the city. This is also why the lake looks yellow in some places. The city is famous for its population of Maoris. But here they look and live like anybody else. So we are not sure if we met some of them. Only certain tattoos betray the rank of a person in his tribe.’

bike trailer

Cyril and Elodie took the ferry again, in the direction of Waiheke island, famous for its vineyards and only 15km long for 3km wide maximum.

The item spent their last days there before flying to Adelaide in Australia where we’ll follow them soon !

30 Jan

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‘Retrouvailles’, New Zealand : from Timaru to Omarama

30 January 2017 | By | No Comments

Cyril and Elodie’s bike trip has started in New Zealand on the banks of the Timaru and Omarama lakes.

remorque à vélo

Their first encounters with the people were very pleasant because “the Kiwis are extraordinarily kind, welcoming, easy and patient.” To spend as much time with the New Zealanders as possible Cyril and Elodie have chosen to stay at the locals’ homes thanks to the websites Couchsurfing and Warmshowers. When they can’t find a place to stay they’ll go camping.

For the beginning of the trip the roads are quite easy to cycle, there are lots of cycle paths and the others users are patient and careful.

The first kilometers enabled us to test the material, make some adjustments, recover from the flight and the jetlag.” In 5 days, the couple has cycled for 220km.

The concept of city centre doesn’t really exist. It seems the English tried to establish this way of living but it didn’t work. Usually there is one main street lined with a few shops in the middle of the city, the houses are set around this main street and the farms are at the entrance and exit of the city. You won’t find a central area with restaurants and bars like in Europe !

After stopping at Fairlie, Cyril and Elodie took the road to the lakes through the State Highway 8. Steep roads and a strong wind forced them to reduce their speed until Lake Tepako 710m high.

voyage à vélo

Then the pair reached one of the most famous bike trails in New Zealand : the ‘Alps 2 Oceans Bike Trail’ to reach lake Pukaki, the biggest lake in New Zealand with Mount Cook (3754m high) in the background.

On the way to Omarama. To reach this village we were quite lucky : wind in our backs, a slight slope, we can cycle up to 30km/h easily, it lifts our spirits up.

bike trailer

After 480km and a hill of 1750m, the pair is quite enthusiast about the KIT L80 bike trailer :

All our stuff is easily carried in our AEVON bike trailer which follows us everywhere ! It’s really handy and completely waterproof ! Our total load was quite heavy and when we’re going downhill it doesn’t waver (up until 71km/h). The fact the trailer is suspended (with a shock absorber) is very handy as you can climb any type of obstacle without any damage to the rim or tyre. We are happy with our choice and recommend it to other bikpackers like us.
The photovoltaic panel was a brilliant idea, our GPS and phones’ batteries are always full. That’s exactly what we needed !

We will follow Cyril and Elodie along their trip, don’t hesitate to read their blog.

02 Nov

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Travelling through New-Zealand and America

2 November 2016 | By | No Comments

Elodie and Cyril have launched the project ‘Retrouvailles’, a trip of about 3 years that will take them from New-Zealand to South America and then North America.

Our project ‘Retrouvailles’ is about coming back to essential values, like living with Man and Nature (versus the need for performance, materialism, consumption …) The goal is to make a break in our intense lives dominated by work and duties and meet ourselves, individually and as a couple, as well as meeting other people.
‘Retrouvailles’ means to us : find the time to live with essential values, find ourselves back and enjoy meeting people, make discoveries of other cultures and landscapes …

bike trip
Elodie and Cyril will travel by bike equipped with a KIT L80 trailer so they can carry up to 35kg of material and carry it on the plane as this trailer is completely foldable.

The bikes are MTB from Canyon with fully suspended frame in order to travel on all types of tracks. A little study enabled them to choose a new bike for Elodie and adapt both bikes so they can be as confortable as possible. Their goal is to live with 10€/day so they will bring a camping stove to be able to cook anywhere.
The preparation took months, an important step when the couple slowly detached itself from the material to keep only the absolutely necessary. They admit that this project brings them through different emotions : joy and excitement of course, but also fear and stress before leaving.

Don’t hesitate to support them before their departure in January 2017 through their website Retrouvailles.