• Tommy Hyland

Middle earth to Northland 

Some of the highlights from my journey in the Waikato (middle earth) all the way up to the tip of New Zealand and the start of my journey home.

Day 54 - Day 57: Waitomo - Raglan

Starting the day perfectly exploring the incredible Ruakuri cave walks and being invaded by an inquisitive school trip when stopping for lunch was only the start of my adventures. 2 flat tyres in 5 hours brought me to Cambridge where I stayed with some amazing old and new friends who's drive to perform on their journey was inspiring for me to keep pushing hard on my own journey. With a new tyre on my rear and the first non family company for a small section of the trip to Raglan for 2 nights.

Raglan was a place I'd been looking forward to all trip and with the surfing beaches, cool community and good food it did not disappoint. But the real highlight of this section was the company I stayed with in their incredible tiny home and the opportunity to be a part of the amazing project @howwegothappy

Day 62 - Day 65: Auckland to Tapuaetahi

Besides having to say goodbye to the legends I stayed with, riding out of the city was such a relief. To leave the concrete jungle filled with averted eye contact and lack of care for those around them to enter my "home" of real jungle and beautiful human connections.

Northland did not disappoint after a couple of hours on a cycle trail, seeing as many cyclists as I had previously seen in 2 months, I was on the back roads leading to State Highway 16. After popping some manus with the local boys I rode the last hour to my home for the night in Tauhoa and was welcomed by a family who I felt an honorary member of almost straight away, being welcomed into movie night. Flying on through beautiful Whangarei and another family welcoming I headed on to another place I had been looking forward to since leaving months earlier.

Yet again the incredible coastlines, beautiful native bush and cultural sites were overshadowed by the company I was so grateful to be welcomed by and able to share some time with on my journey, who came to feel like my second family on the tour.

Day 67: Cape Reinga

My favourite day of riding started with cruising on 90 mile beach during sunrise then having to escape a cow paddock over a stretch of sand dunes that my "coast road" had led me into then onto a forestry road for a couple of hours leading me back to the main highway for lunch.

A long, undulating ride into a gale headwind bringing the rain in horizontally to my face was instantly worth it when it came into view. As if I was in my own movie, the clouds parted perfectly as the setting sun shone light upon the beacon I had been dreaming of since starting my trip over 2 months earlier. The Cape Reinga lighthouse; the mark of the highest point on my trip and the physical end of the North Island which allowed me to officially start heading home. With tear filled eyes and wild helmet hair I must have been a sight to behold to the crew of young Germans who I met at the lighthouse and got to take my photo but this was the last thing on my mind.

As the immensity of all the beauty, struggles, triumphs and love from the days ride, the entire cycle jourey and my journey through life that had led me to this point hit me, all I could do was sit on the spiritual ground leading to the light house. Looking out over where the Pacific and Tasman ocean meet reflecting on what had happened for me to be here in this moment living the life of my dreams; all the beautiful people who had helped me, all the mistakes turned into lessons, all the mental battles I had overcome and here I was. Fully content and immersed in This Moment Here.