The start

After handing over our apartment, we had another four days before we left Switzerland. The last days were filled with visits and phone calls from friends and family and a lot of cheers and good bye.

When choosing our flight, we decided to fly via Los Angeles, which allowed us to have 2 pieces of luggage up to 32kg per person. We didn’t like the idea of having to go through the US customs on our stopover, because it was always quite a hassle on previous trips, but this time it was all easy going despite our four large bags. One thing we are always wondering about is the fact that they take even a small nail clipper of you at the control gates, but serve the meals in the plane with stainless steel forks and knives. Probably one of the mysteries of life?

After a 35 hours monster trip, we arrived save and sound in Auckland, greeted by a bright blue sky and warm summer weather with 22°C. Clearing customs was a matter of minutes after having cleaned our hiking and wading boots and the waders carefully back home. Even our fly tying gear and stock of flies got the approval of the officer in charge; the only things we had to hand out being two feet of a snowshoe rabbit. Stepping out of the airport building and taking the first deep breath of New Zealand air is always something very special and we had been looking forward to that very moment for a long time.

By internet we’d booked a rental car for the first few days and took off to find a motel close to the city center. On the next day we searched the net for a second hand car and found several cars we wanted to have a look at. Within an hour after starting our journey to different dealers we were the happy owners of a great looking (!?) 4×4 SUV. Because we are no experts when it comes to cars, we opted for an AA inspected vehicle which gave us peace of mind regarding its mechanical condition. In the last couple of days we tried to get organized, bought our fishing licenses and fitted the car with boxes for boots and gear.

Yesterday, after quite a bit of discussing the pros and cons of a Belly boat, we decided to buy an inflatable kayak. It allows us not only to fish from a craft but also to do some river kayaking and trips on lakes and in the sea. We were lucky and got a Gumotex Helios II for a great “end of summer special” price at Canoe & Kayak Auckland. The boat accommodates the two of us, folds down neatly and can be carried in its own sac like a backpack. Now it’s time to get serious and to head south. Let’s go fishing!

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