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Arrived in Aukland a week before the race into a tropical storm, gales and rain. Nice. Picked up the camper and after a slightly bemused camper van owner did a double take at the piles of luggage and then at the van then we stuffed it all in and were off. Actually worked well, as we stored the bike on the spare bed above the cab, and then slept at the back. So off into the great unknown of NZ. Probably the time to mention huge thanks to Ally Bally Bee for all the advice on our itinerary whilst over in NZ. Ended up spending quite a bit of time on the Coromandel Peninsula, and even went back for a second visit at the end of our trip. It really is a beautiful place. So a few days of getting used to the time zone change (not too bad actually), and then a day of sea kayaking and then down to Taupo for the race. We got there on the Tuesday, so a few days to acclimatise and do all the usual faffing before the race on Saturday. For anyone that does end up thinking about doing the race in the future after reading this (and I'll definitely be back) then I'd recommend Gateway Motor homes for the camper hire and DeBretts for the campsite in Taupo – worked brilliantly.