We were up early the next morning as we had a plane to catch on the other side of the country. We quietly made our way past assortment of sinister looking manequins in the hallway and out into the misty grey of an eery dawn.
Our brief stay in NZ had revealed a strong outdoors culture with seemingly everybody passionate about exploring the amazing countryside with a mountain bike, paddle or pair of hiking boots. One group had even gone all poetic, sprouting the virtues of being at one with the surroundings as they huffed and puffed their way over a mountain pass at a relative snails pace. The road hummed beneath a pair of worn knobbies and I quietly pondered this notion as we approached the start of Arthurs Pass.
The clouds were lifting to reveal a vista of steep sided mountains illuminated by a shimmering morning sun and it was possible to imagine travelling on a more primitive level. The headphones grew strangely quiet for a brief second or two and the world seemed to stand still. And then, as if the adventure riding gods stepped in to sort out this irrational thought process, the iPod clicked over to Nickelback, the back end drifted wide under power on a patch of loose gravel and the growling exhaust of an agitated twin echoed to the chorus of Amen, I'm alive. It was an almost spritual moment and made me acutely aware of the freedom to chase distant horizon's on knobby shod bikes.