Wheels in mo­tion for English cou­ple

The Invercargill Eye - - COMMUNITY COOKBOOK - RE­BECCA MOORE

An English cou­ple are trav­el­ling the world on their tan­dem bike, vis­it­ing places they have al­ways wanted to go and catch­ing up with fam­ily they haven’t seen in years.

Kay and Sean O’Toole left Malvern in the United King­dom about four and a half months ago to tour the world on their tan­dem bike.

Be­fore the trip, the only place out­side of Eng­land they had been to was France, and the long­est cy­cling tour they had done was four days in 2013.

But on a nine-month trip through­out the world they had al­ready been to Hol­land, Ger­many, Den­mark, Swe­den, Es­to­nia, Rus­sia, Mon­go­lia, China and now New Zealand.

On Sun­day, they were mak­ing their way through Southland, in­clud­ing In­ver­cargill, Bluff and the Catlins, be­fore head­ing north up the West Coast.

They travel be­tween 120 to 140 kilo­me­tres a day, and some days were 10 hours long. In to­tal they had done more than 100,000 km, Sean said.

‘‘It’s a fan­tas­tic way to see a coun­try. You hear the birds, feel the weather and see the scenery.’’

The pair, in their mid-50s, are do­ing it with only 60kg of travel kit, in­clud­ing camp­ing gear.

They have rid­den through tough ter­rain, camped in the snow, strug­gled with com­muni- cation in for­eign coun­tries, and on a bud­get of NZ$140 a day, in­clud­ing flights and train tick­ets. The trip would cost about $37,800 in to­tal. The cou­ple saw an op­por­tu­nity to do their dream trip af­ter Kay’s par­ents, who she was look­ing af­ter, passed away, and be­fore their chil­dren, aged 26 and 28, had their grand­chil­dren.

Orig­i­nally they were go­ing to travel while fruit pick­ing but Sean, who is a keen cy­clist, said the plan changed and they bought a new tan­dem bike.

Kay said the bike was a ‘‘nov­elty’’ and peo­ple of­ten waved or stopped them for self­ies.

New Zealand was full of green­ery and ev­ery­one was friendly and gen­er­ous, she said.

Ar­riv­ing in Auck­land on Novem­ber 16, they had three of­fers from peo­ple to stay with them or for meals on day one.

It was the ‘‘real ex­pe­ri­ence’’, Kay said. ‘‘It’s less likely we’ll ever come back so we want to see ev­ery­thing while we can.’’

They left In­ver­cargill on Tues­day and will fly from Auck­land to Van­cou­ver on March 2.

Their route home could change due to weather, but they will fly back from Toronto mid to late April.

JOHN HAWKINS/ STUFF

Kay and Sean O’Toole left Malvern in the United King­dom to ride around the world on their tan­dem bike.

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