Bike Odyssey
New Zealand 2004

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Journal for 13-Mar-2004 : Masterton

We're starting to run out of time and all our guide books suggest the best route out of Wellington is the commuter train. It avoids a lengthy hill (not really a problem) of busy, narrow, windy highway (so we've heard and that is a problem).
So we caught the train to Masterton.

Getting on the train was an ordeal. You have to pay for the ticket, then you may or may not be allowed to load your bike in the baggage area. After waiting till just 5 minutes before departure (we were there an hour early) the train guy told us, multiple times, that we could only go on the train if there was enough space. There was enough space, but we could still only go on space permitting. Apparently we needed to wait till the train had passed all the stations en-route in case more luggage needed to go on there. Eventually he relented, so long as we took off all the luggage in the 25 seconds before the train was due to leave. With the next train leaving only 10 hours later we stripped our bikes faster than a pick pocket and got on the train.

At Masterton I argued unsucessfully that as it was a fine day (ie a stiff headwind but not that much rain), we were running out of time and we'd already had 4 days without riding much we should ride on far half a day and camp somewhere. Linda was having none of it, so we found a bed for the night. This proved less than easy, as half the rooms have been taken by recent flood vitims.

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