Sally906's Reviews > Kiwis Might Fly

Kiwis Might Fly by Polly Evans
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Feb 12, 11

bookshelves: non-fiction
Read in January, 2011

After she read that the stereotypical Kiwi male was a dying species, Polly Evans got herself a motorcycle licence then flew to the other side of the world for a journey around New Zealand to see if she could still find examples of the hard-living, hard-drinking, ingenious New Zealand bloke of pioneer days.

I have read some of Polly’s previous books – Fried Eggs with Chopsticks, Mad Dogs with an English woman and On a Hoof and a Prayer – and really enjoyed them. In KIWIS MIGHT FLY Polly Evans decides, despite having no previous motor biking experience, to hire a 600cc road bike and ride New Zealand from top to bottom. She gets her licence on a sedate little motor bike only days before departing England and is quite overwhelmed when she first meets her two-wheeled travel companion. Still, she is not game to say it scares her and that she is a novice, and so she accepts delivery and sets off.

There are two journeys in the book; the first one is Polly’s journey to be a proper bike rider. As we read how she talks, reasons and pleads with the bike; it becomes is an important back story and results in a series of unplanned adventures and some hilarious problems. The second journey is the search for the real New Zealand male. Is he a myth, a SNAG or he-man?

Polly Evans meets some really interesting people, both male and female. As is her customary style, she relates pertinent, and often unusual, historical facts to give her readers background information. She starts in the north island with giant trees, sweaty Santa’s in Auckland, through boiling mud pools in Rotorua, and then finishes in the museum and café society of Wellington. In the second half of the book she travels by ferry to the south island and meets rugged men turned tour guides, and weather that doesn’t listen to the daily forecast. She finishes in the beautiful, more English than England, city of Christchurch.

I think she treated Christchurch unfairly my experience of the place was that if my husband said let’s move there I would have the house packed in 2 hours or less!!! We travelled from north to south only a year or two after Polly, and both thought Christchurch was a wonderful city and by far our most favourite of New Zealand. Polly made a few surprisingly derogatory comments of various places, which I felt was a bit unfair seeing as she only spent what seemed like 2 minutes there. I am surprised that anyone could go to Queenstown and not mention the glorious wineries in the region.

I have the only book of hers I haven’t read ready to go. IT’S NOT ABOUT THE TAPAS is about her bicycle trip around Spain. I have this loaded on my Kindle to read on my upcoming trip to New Zealand

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