Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Kerikeri to hukerenui 72 km

Kerikeri to hukerenui   72 km

After staying at the lodge for the past 3 nights it's time keep heading south. Taking my time to climb the hills out of kerikeri I turn on to S.H.10 enjoying the riding soon I'm at the turn off for bay of Islands (S.H.11) the road is some what busy. At the harura falls I stop for a bit before it's time to head over a few short but steep hills - heading up one of the hills I see the two people on touring bikes ahead of me. Near the top of the hill I chach up with then before I head down the hill and up the next hill  the down hills are short but fun . Coming into paihia I stop at the supermarket for a ice cream - it's a hot day out on the bike today back on the bike riding past the turn off for waitangi ( not going there this time as I been there before on other rides up this way  : )  going along the beach I spot the two riders on touring bikes so stop to chat for a bit - telling then about the new cycle trail from opua to near Kawkawa  along the old rail line .

Getting on the road I stop to cheek if the cycle trail is open - yes it is - well most of it any way ... Climbing over more short but steep climbs on busy road I get to the turn off for opua ( where the car ferry to Russell leaves from. ) heading down the hill to the sea I see there's a large sailing ship just tying? up - as I get closer I see it's the sprit of New Zealand ship - a ship I was able to do a day sail on around Auckland about 13-15 years ago as part of a school trip ( one of the day sail for disable kids I think it was ) 

After doing some asking around I find the start of the rail trail cycle way - this rail line was one of the first ( if not the first ) rail line in the north island . The trail runs beside the sea passing over a few (new) bridges in places I can see the rails still in place - it looks like the rails was lift in place and sand/ dirt ? was put on top to make the trail? - up to maybe 10-15 years ago the rail line was still in use until some big storms cause dames to some bridges and a large slip at one end of the tunnel on the line - the train still runs from Kawkawa to maybe 5 km away ( about where a long bridge is ( what is the closed part of the trail - I was able to bay pass this bridge - until this bridge is fixed or replaced the trail dead ends at the bridge )  riding the trail is a nice change from riding on the busy hilly roads  - once I'm back on the road there's a few more hills to climb over before I get into Kawkawa and back onto S.H.1  

Back on the main road there's a long climb up a hill - it's a hill I got up to around 60 km/h going down as I was heading north this way - at the top I stop for some food before I get back to riding - there's a shop a few km away hum I wonder if it's still open - yep I just make it before they close for the day getting a ice cream as it's still hot out there riding 

Riding along the road I start to work out how far it's to my friends place where I'm  heading for the night  getting to the turn off I head up the gravel side road climbing up the last hill of the day before I get to my friends place where I set up my tent for the night : ) 
  Sprit of New Zealand ship

Start of the rail trail 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Kaeo to kerikeri about 25 km

Kaeo to kerikeri  about 25 km 

After some breakfast it's time to pack up my tent and get on the road - starting with the hill. This was the hill I found that was a nice down hill on the way up ( when I was heading north ) - well a few km later I got to the top of the hill - there's a rest aire at the top that I remember from other trips up this way it was a some what hot climb up the hill I say some what hot as there was a few passing rain showers the cold things down nicey   After the rest aire the road tens down hill towards waipapa

After the turn off for kerikeri  there's less cars on the road after riding a few km  I turn off on to rainbow falls road to see the water fall having a play with the film camera as well as my other camera  before heading into town to look around the shops for a few hours before heading for the lodge where I stayed on the way north 

Getting to the lodge I set up camp for the night then spend a few hours typing up the last few days on the blog

Awanui to some where near kaeo 82 km

Awanui to some where near kaeo 82 km 

A very late start as I have washing to get done as well as a few other thing on my to do list  getting on the road by about 11 am  I head over two longer some what easy hills before some riding flats before getting back into the hills passing busy holiday towns on the coast like taipa,cable bay and mangonui - cable bay is named because back in 1901-1912? There was a cable station here at one end of a cable that ran from nz to Queensland  at the time it was the loungers cable in world ( this info came from a sign by the beach about cable bay  ) 

Stoping at mangonui for some late lunch - also to replace a missing R clip that helps on the trailer wheels on ( happens from time to time : ) I spend a bit of time looking at the map to see where I might end up sleeping tonight  

Back on the some what busy road  I head over more hills at one point passing a old wooden  boat  on the side of the road that's been there for at less the last few years - it's a nice land mark for me as it marks the top of an hill climb. : ) 

The road is a mix of rolling hills and flat parts near sea level as it runs beside the sea 

Heading into the town of kaeo  I stop to get a photo of the town name sign  - kaeo - small town big sprit  getting some photos of some of the old building (many dating back to the gum digging days ) I note the the shop in town is all ready closed for the day - thought that may be the case ( early closing times ? ) it's why I stocked up on 2 days of food early in the day

Riding a few km out of town I decide to ask at a farm if they knew of any where I might be able to put up a tent up for the night - the nice people at the house said I could put up my tent on they back lawn - after doing that I got asked if I would like some thing to eat - after saying I was I little hungry they gave me a plate of scrabble eggs that was very nice of then to do : ) - after looking at a bit of TV ( not some thing I see much of : ) it's time for bed - it's a warm night so I end up just with sleeping bag over my legs for most of the night  

Waitiki landing to awanui 80 km

Waitiki landing to awanui 80 km

After a bit of a sleep in I pack up camp and head south re-tracking the road back down the coast - there's only one road to the cape - though one can drive/ride up 90 mile beach if one takes care ( and yes I have done at I few times over the years : )

Riding back over the hills only stoping at te kao ( for a pie this time : ) I decide to take a longer break at pukenui to have a late lunch and cheek emails and Facebook seeing how people got though the new year : ) and posting some photos from the ride up to the cape : ) 

Then it's back on the road riding until I get about 8? Km from awanui where I stop  to deside where I'm spending the night - I end up heading for a place at awanui where I have stayed before to set up camp for the night at a camp ground / motel

Waitiki landing to cape reinga ( and back ) 42 km

Waitiki landing to cape reinga ( and back ) 42 km  

After looking at the all the bus's ,camper vans and cars heading for the cape I decide to just take bike with out the trailer or gear up to the cape around mid- after noon - by that time there should be less bus's on the road 

Spending a some what lazy morning reading in my tent looking at all the bugs trying to get into my tent : ) by around 2 pm I start getting ready for my ride up the last 21?km of S.H.1 on the way north

With the road starting around sea level it head up over some long climbs over large rolling hills passing the turn off for Te paki stream road ( one of the ways to get on to 90 mile beach for any one who wants to drive or ride a long the beach ( it's the way the bus's go ) only to head back down near sea level then back into the hills for more climbing   Before passing the turn off for tapotupotu bay where there is a D.O.C camp ground only a few km from the cape 

Onice I get to the car park at the end of the road I change into one of the THINK t shirts ( for photos : ) before taking the bike for a walk down to the lighthouse and waiting for at less some of the many people to head back to they cars - many people just walk to the lighthouse / sign post  take a photo then walk back up the hill - was fun looking at people who was trying to post photos on Facebook - no cell receping until you get around 50-70 km south of the cape : ) 

After taking my time having a good look around and getting photos of the lighthouse , sign and landscape I find some to get some photos with me and the bike below the sign post - after looking around some more I get on the bike and slowly ride back up the hill to the car park where I change back into cycling gear ( hi-vis gear ) and start riding south : ) 

Heading back over the hills towards waitiki landing I have a bit of a think why people come up to the cape - for some it's a journey for others it's just one more place to tick off a list - 

for me journeys like this it's helps my decide things in my life - where and what next to do in my life - maybe this year or some time in the next few years I'm looking at doing the te Araroa trail  - it's a tramping trail the runs from the top of nz to the other end - because of how long it is there is a set time of year when to start - see here for more on the trail

Long journeys give me time to think and spend time on my own away from others and also to get out of the some old run teen that we all  get stuck in over time 

Back at the landing I chat to a few people before staying up to around 2 am ( well it is New Year's Eve : ) doing some reading of a few ebooks I been meaning to read for a bit : )