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In search of a warmer winter

One of the things I loved about New Zealand was the fact it could feel at the same time both so familiar but also so different. Heather-strewn landscapes on the Tongariro crossing. The scent of tea tree on the air, evoking memories of teenage shopping trips. Millionaires shortbread in the form of huge gooey slabs in every cafe. A whole month of daylight, sunshine and adventures with friends was exactly what I needed. I didn’t have a single cake or ice cream disappointment the entire trip. So if there's one thing I've learnt is that NZ does amazing coffee and cake - crucial matters for anyone planning some bikepacking. I arrived in Rotorua at lunchtime to meet John for a bike-packing trip. We planned to do the Geyserland gravel grind loop but had to be back by Friday lunchtime so knew it might be a bit challenging timewise. Rosie had very kindly lent me her bike so it was my first time bike-packing on rigid forks and fat tyres. I was pretty impressed at her homemade fra

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