Feb 9, 2017, Dunedin, New Zealand

Hello everyone! I have been resting for a few days in Dunedin, the Edinburgh of New Zealand. It is an interesting town. The streets remind me of San Francisco. I’ve had a chance to give a couple of lectures here, and I am glad that I came. In a couple of hours, I am going to be taking a bus to Christchurch, to meet up with my friends John and Adrienne.

I left Omaru the morning of 2/4, with the goal of an easy ride to the town of Waikouaiti. The ride along the east coast was excellent! Ocean views nearly the entire way.


Great view of the ocean on the east coast of the south island


This was also a rare day without wind!

I got a later start than I had planned, and I really wanted to stop and see the boulders of Moeraki. As such, I decided to stay at a campsite near Moeraki beach. The rocks themselves were impressive–their location, even more so. Why are these here?

Boulders of Moeraki

The campground was full, but there is always room for another tent. I pitched my tent near a loud family and a pair of fishermen. I wish Big Agnes could figure out how to make their tents sound-proof. I have long since taken to sleeping with ear-buds and a white noise generator.

My Big Agnes tent. I guess I have spent about 150 nights in this tent!

That evening, I saw a perfect 1/2 moon just as the sun set. This is a rare occurrence. I use this concept in my lecture when talking about how Aristarchus estimated the relative distance to the sun using a 1/2 moon.


I got an early start the next morning (2/5) heading for Dunedin. A short conversation with a local cyclist and warm showers host convinced me that I should follow the main highway for as long as possible. I’m glad I did that. The scenic cycle route seemed to have as much traffic as the highway, but without shoulders, and was steeper to boot.

I got some really nice views of the ocean along the way. I am going to miss this!

More costal views

Eventually, I turned inland and I approached the climb through the mountains on the way to Dunedin. Farm and range lands reappeared; beautiful as always.

Farm lands and hills reappear

The final push to Dunedin required two climbs–a small one and then a steep push uphill for 10 km. It was not nearly as difficult as I expected it to be. I got some wonderful views of the city, or its suburbs, as I reached the summit.

The view from the summit riding into Dunedin

The ride through Dunedin to my hosts, Paul and Oana, entailed an unplanned 700-foot climb, which was probably closer to 1000 feet because I chose the route poorly. When I arrived, Paul took my photo. I was pretty exhausted! Later, I will post about the lectures I gave here in Dunedin, a Super Bowl party and a ride up Baldwin Street.


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