Gay Travel: Pure Pleasure New Zealand

Image via Passport.

Image via Passport.

I’m curving along a snake-like road through New Zealand. My arms are wrapped tightly around a Hells Angels–type biker who, over the course of one hour, I’ve learned to trust with my life. The vroom vroom vrooming of the motorcycle has now become a surprisingly soothing background noise to the endless beauty of Auckland’s west coast. The wind smacks my face so hard that my cheeks beam red through the helmet’s visor and they sting like I’ve been walking New York City blocks in a snowstorm. Rain dribbles down from the mountain-edge that we’re accelerating up and the raindrops do-si-do off my field of vision. With each curvature of the road, Gaia’s topography here surprises. One view reveals a sweeping landscape with a tremendous sky that is still puffed with vibrant grays. In the foreground, a vast ocean dominates the vista, where jagged rocks appear as though they are fighting for air from the blue waters. It reminds me of the Maori creation story I heard at the Auckland Museum that describes this harmony: “Soon, and yet not soon, for the time was vast, the Sky and Earth began to yield.” And here, way down in the far-flung corner of the Southern Hemisphere sitting on the back of a Harley, I too begin to yield with a place that has forever changed me.

Keep reading over at Passport magazine.

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