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Elvis was only in the UK once and he spent the whole time at Prestwick airport. Goodness knows what he thought of the place. I know what I think and that is that there is not a single services on the entire length of the M6 that is worse, not even Hilton Park. So Prestwick is not nice and it has a terrible slogan. I forget what it is but I do remember that it is terrible.

Los Angeles airport is every bit as bad as Prestwick. I feel so sorry for David Beckham having to use it so often, no wonder he wants to come and play for Tottenham. The border security did their very best to be both intimidating and unhelpful. We have 6 month US Visas in our passports and of course they attracted attention. We were paranoid that they would start the 6 months countdown for just transiting through the building. I just do not trust the system one little bit.

So the 14 hour flight to Los Angeles went well and we waited a couple of hours for the 12 hour flight to New Zealand. That was just tolerable and with no screaming kids or partying teenagers a few hours of sleep was had. The second entry point had the additional hazard of  the Bio Security Police. The major panic was if we needed to declare Oatcakes as agricultural produce. If we had been in a forest in the last 30 days and was the tent muddy?  All went quite well and the tent passed inspection and the Oatcakes were allowed into the country along with their owners.

Awaiting the tent from the Bio Police

I had booked us in for two nights at City Garden Lodge. Which has proven to be my favorite hostel of all time. So thanks to Pete at Writesofway blog for that top tip (I do usually hate hostels, so this is high praise indeed).  The bikes have suffered just a few very minor scratches during their travels and we have put them together today after a 14 hour sleep.

City Garden Lodge in Auckland

The top tip from that was to take off the handlebar stem in one go and secure the fork with a jubilee clip to keep all the spacers and headset in place. I also removed the rear derailure and bubble wrapped it, and then zip tied it into the rear triangle out of harms way. There is micron tolerances on this bit of kit and it hates being bashed. Tucked up, it is safe. I would also take of the hanger if it detaches as this is very soft metal and a difficult to find replacement – I know this only too well.  So, that is us ready to head off. I noticed that the thermometer on my bike meter read 42 degrees centigrade as we tweaked the brakes. This will be  our main problem in adjusting from the greyness of a Scottish winter to full on summer here. The first few days are going to be difficult.

Putting the bikes together in 42C degrees