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I’m leaving my house in about two hours to head to the airport. Some many, many hours later, I will reappear out of the wormhole in Christchurch, New Zealand. Christchurch! New Zealand! I know, I’m as surprised as you are.

One of the main events on this trip, which, as always will be comprised of bundles of smaller events, moments, rash decisions and fleeting thoughts is the renting of a bicycle and riding it around.

I have a brain-eye disconnect that makes it hard for me to follow words on a page and translate them to a map on another page. Advanced Geometry was hell my friends, hell, I tell you. So I did what any brain-addled netsavvy person would do, and I found a nifty service that maps your route for you, drawing and tracing minimized. My approximate route for the first 23ish days of this trip look like this:

fonendoscopio Map generated by me at, and enchulado (gussied up) on iphoto.

Now, before I spoil it for you. What do you think this looks like?

Got it?


Well, to me, as soon as I saw it plotted out, I saw it as a stethescope (fodendoscopio in Spanish), where Christchurch goes in one ear and Greymouth goes in other other, and we all listen to the earth’s heartbeat in Milford Sound.

Some of this will be by bike, the trajectory across the grey matter (not pictured) will be by train, and I’m certain buses, trucks, or cars will play a role. With any luck there might be a boat. I have no idea if I’ll follow the exact route or maybe meander a little more this way or that.

I’ve got a pile of stuff laying next to my backpack, waiting to hop in, and the remainder of food willing themselves into lunch as we speak. I’ve got tickets, lists, a guidebook (I opted for the Rough Guide, over Lonely Planet, possibly because it was more recent), batteries both camera and body and soul charged, a silly good luck charm that I believe in beyond reason, and a world of wind, rain and hard days ahead.

I am so privileged. And so amped.

Feel free to come along on this stethescope of a journey, where I measure the world’s heartbeat one pedal stroke at a time and grind up and coast down ridge after punishing ridge of mountains wishing for all the world that I could change the lens on my own vision to wide angle.

Hope you enjoy the ride.