“Life is like riding a bicycle: you don’t fall off until you stop pedalling.” – Claude Pepper
Last month I visited Devonport just across the harbour from Auckland City. After a rather windy trip via Fullers ferry, we docked and found a beautiful seaside town.
The sun was shining and because we didn’t know the area we popped into a bicycle hire shop and got ourselves a map.
It’s been absolutely years since I had ridden a bike but it took all of 5 minutes before I was zooming along the water front in search of our first stop.
We locked up our transport for the day and stopped off at the Navy Museum. It’s easy when you’re travelling to forget dates and I’m ashamed to say I’d forgotten it was approaching November 11th.
The museum foyer was filled with beautiful artwork, completed by mostly local school children, in memory of World War I.
The museum was a time to reflect on how lucky we truly are. Various letters, medals, photos, ship replicas and guns were featured. It was interesting to see how New Zealand, whose navy was small in comparison to many other countries, played a role in the First World War.
The letters especially were humbling to read. In a time where communication worldwide has never been easier, I cannot imagine how difficult it was to wait for weeks or months without any news from loved ones. I’m guilty of not keeping in touch with a lot of my family but social network makes it easier for them to monitor my movements and check I’m still alive.
After playing dress up, we popped into the cafe next door for a beverage and a few photos along the sea wall.
We carried on our ride up through a residential area. Whilst it’s true that you never forget how to ride a bike, I had forgotten how the gears worked which resulted in a hard and fast pedal up a few hills.
Another pit stop for lunch near the beach on the south side was much needed and the view wasn’t bad.
I love cycling and it’s a massive deal here with cycle lanes all over the city. For the first time, I took to the road and found all the drivers to be so courteous.
After making it back into the centre we locked up again and found a fundraiser fair happening on the green for a local school. The atmosphere was relaxed. Everyone was happy. I was ecstatic because there was a petting zoo!
We took a stroll through the main street which was quaint and pretty. The place was heaving but we found a pub to get refreshed and sat outside the front.
People watching is probably my favourite thing. Car watching it probably Lewis’. So we sat and watched the world go by. I find it fascinating that we see people and judge them without knowing anything about their lives. Not necessarily in a bad way; but I personally like to make up stories about where they’ve come from or where they’re going to. Car watching is much more simple- “that’s a nice blue” or “look at that grill!”…
We rode back along the front for a while and took in the city across the bay. I felt so content and happy it was sad to have to leave.
If you get the opportunity to visit Devonport I’d 100% recommend making sure it’s a sunny day and you cycle. The beaches are better around the other side and there’s some stunning views en route.