With only four full days left before we fly out its time to pack the bike boxes. We're flying with Qatar Airways from Dublin and not brave, or crazy, enough to ride the 150 miles from here to there in mid-November, plus the logistics of packing at the airport was too much to think about for us as first-time bike tourers.
One of the reasons we chose to fly with Qatar Airways was the fact they offer a 30kg per person luggage allowance and bike boxes are accepted as part of that allowance, not an additional charge as with so many other airlines. Another was the ability to fly direct from Dublin to Auckland with only one connection in Doha.
So today has been spent dismantling the bikes, deflating tyres, taping, tying, weighing and packing to fit everything in and keep within the 30kg limit. Thankfully we have a 7kg hand luggage allowance which we will use to bring our non-bike gear (running gear for Queenstown Marathon & clothes for the couple of weeks we'll spend there before starting the bike tour).
We have a bike box each plus what we call a 'worldwide shopping bag' each (you know the blue/red/white checked bags you find at every market worldwide).
Each bike box has the following:
Each worldwide shopping bag has:
We think we've kept under the 30kg limit, but its pretty close, fingers crossed we'll get it all through as it would be an absolute nightmare to have to repack in the middle of Dublin airport.
Sunday morning will be the final session of taping, and if possible we'll get the WWSB's wrapped at the airport.
This 9-week trip to NZ is not all about biking. We start by dropping the bikes in Auckland, flying to Queenstown to spend a couple of weeks and to run the marathon. Fly back to AKL and ride south to Nelson via Eastland & Hawkes Bay, before returning from Wellington to AKL by train.
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