Day 66 on the Road
Exploring Palmerston North!
On today’s episode of New Zealand’s BIGGEST Gap Year, we are doing it all in Palmerston North with a bike ride along the Manawatu River Pathway, the New Zealand Rugby Museum and a couple of night markets.
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Today we are going to actually have a look round the city, see what Palmerston North has to offer. I have made us a plan which is literally by the hour. It is pretty intense. But I think there is like really a lot to see in the area there is really a lot to do in Palmerston North.
So here’s the plan that I’ve made, in the morning we’re going to go pick up some bikes and go do the riverside trail [Manawatu River Pathway] which is a great bike trail to go alongside the Manawatu River if I’m not wrong, once we’ve done that we’re actually going to be biking a little bit around the city and spotting a few good spots, drop back the bikes and go the New Zealand Rugby Museum. Once we’ve done with that we are going to go to the library village market [Night Village market] and then once we’ve done we are going to feast in a Food Truck Festival. That is a busy day so we better get on with it pretty quickly.
First up, Palmerston North is known to be actually a really good city to cycle round everywhere around the city like all the attractions there’s bike stands so you can just park up for free just you know, lock yourself in – you don’t really need to it’s New Zealand but it’s always good to be safe. So this is the perfect city to bike round it’s pretty much all flat there’s no you know, you don’t need to do any strenuous exercise to get around the city it’s ideal and people love biking round here so that’s why we are going to do a bike tour round Palmerston North. We go to the i-SITE to pick up some rental bikes and we have a choice of either a tandem bike or an electric bike. We’ve never done either of those I’ve never rode a tandem and I’ve never been on an electric bike but the electric bike sounds interesting. Now we had no idea how easy it is to bike when you have an electric bike. I have to say that this involves absolutely no effort. Just put it on like normal level you just peddle a little bit off you go then the bike is doing everything for you. the only time you peddle is just to basically keep your balance it’s pretty impressive. it’s a long concrete pathway which is also used by dog walkers and the dogs can be let off the leash so we have a few dogs to avoid along the way and people are running and cycling on it as well. So it’s a well-used path and I can see why it’s going right along the Manawatu River as the name suggests and going through some really nice forested areas and nice open fields and we get to see a little bit of everything alongside Palmerston North just a little bit outside the city which is really cool. We’re just cycling away and you know the more we’re going down [the manawatu river] pathway the more confident we’re getting with the electric bikes and just turning it up to high speed and just doing shit-all but going really fast. yeah, we’re having a good time. We are literally biking between river, grass, trees and with Laura we’re having a little bit of a blast because first the area is stunning and you know it looks autumn-ish you know at the moment because winter is just never arriving in New Zealand, you know we are in the middle of winter right now and the weather is just stunning so there is beautiful golden tree colours and all the floor is paved with golden leaves and it’s just mind-blowing. And we’re having a bit of a banter on the bike because it’s just so easy to bike them. And we are making our way to the New Zealand Rugby Museum – this is where we’re going to be parking the bikes but turns out that the museum is very close to the hostel. We went back to the hostel to get a warmer jacket because we got frozen to death with the wind. You don’t do much exercise on electric bikes. Obviously New Zealand is a massive rugby nation. People here love rugby and we’re into it too. We’re taking a look at all the displays there’s like old All Black jerseys showing you the evolution of the All Blacks. There’s also an early rugby ball which was a pig’s bladder inflated. Yeah, there’s like all sorts of like trinkets and see like old souvenirs people first got for the All Blacks. That’s a hardcore rugby helmet. At one point there’s even a Play Station Two with rugby video games. You know you’re old when you see your old childhood video games in a museum.
I think that’s a toast of Rickie McCaw the toast man. Almost there. Yes there are some beautiful jerseys on display and some of the earliest All Blacks jerseys yes, there is some of the earliest rugby balls which area actually just inflated pig bladder. Yes, I know it’s disgusting. But the main attraction of the New Zealand Rugby Museum is the massive field right in the middle of the museum where there are a lot of training machines that even the All Blacks have been using to train themselves. Welcome to the arena. We go through the netting and we are going to do some challenges. And that’s a miss. I think I only get maybe about three kicks/three goals. The rest is pretty atrocious and I have to say I’m really glad there is netting around this section of the museum because all these displays would be in pieces right now. My kicking is a bit wild I have to admit. As expected, robin does better than me at that challenge.
The next one is a scrum challenge. This one you press a button and you listen to the instructions and put as much force with your shoulders onto this machine as possible to obviously measure your force and how much you can push as if you were doing a rugby scrum. A professional rugby player could do a force of over 400. The tackle machine is basically two massive rubber sausages that you have to tackle down one after the other in less than six point nine seconds. Sadly my best score today is going to be seven seconds which is absolutely frustrating! Especially for someone as competitive as I am. So I’m giving it another shot and just jump onto this sausage and tackle it down jumping back up running around the field jumping on the other sausage tackling back up and making sure it stays down standing back up running back to press on that Goddamn button only to see that I took seven seconds to do it. this is infuriating Rugby Museum. Lie to me and tell me that I beat your best score! After we are in the museum we get back outside we go get our bikes and we do one last little trip before we return our bikes to the i-SITE so our last little trip involves riding around The Square which is the very centre of Palmerston North it is really cool like garden park area of Palmerston North. We are heading back to the hostel just to warm up a little bit and grab a nice cup of tea and wait for dusk.
First up on our list is the Village Night Market which is held on the last Friday of every month at the library of Palmerston North. During the day this is a library but tonight it’s a night market. So they just clear a room in the library they set up loads of stalls decorate it with fairy lights and bunting it just looks like a really really cool little market. there’s also sorts of like homemade goods like homemade jams homemade food homemade clothes jewellery. So I thought I’d make it a bit more Mad Max. Oh yeah. What do you think about that? You look like a buzzy bee. But my tummy is rumbly, Laura’s tummy is rumbly. It’s time for us to get some food. I haven’t seen that many people since we were in Auckland. I like the taco bunting. The Food Truck Feast is basically people that own food trucks all gathering together from all across the world there is Jamaican, there is greek, there is Chinese, there is Thai, there is Indonesian, there is Indian there is of every country in the world. It’s pretty epic. What’s tempting you? Erm. There’s too much choice. Basically it’s a must-go where everybody gets in and gets a big bargain on something pretty yummy and pretty awesome. Laura you hungry? Starving. We are spoiled for choice we don’t know which country to go for. I’m thinking we should really try something new. This is the first time I’m going to be having Greek food. I have like a veggie slouvaki… I write it in the blog post as well but I can’t remember what it’s called. It is delicious. Stand behind line, press start button. Spring to the other end on go check time. It’s not on.