The alarm went off at 5:30, and was promptly snoozed, then turned off. After a late night last night chatting with Frank and Nigel, our new cycling buddies and a horrific days cycling, sleep was our friend.
Eventually we got up and watched other cyclists leave, one after the other. We had breakfast, which this morning with a view of ‘eat more food, burning 3800 calories and only consuming around 400 does not make for a happy cyclist’ we had freeze-dried scrambled eggs in a tortilla wrap with some cheese, ham and cold leftover chips. Weirdly tasty!
Eventually we set off at 9:30, not after receiving a text from one of my work colleagues telling us to get a wiggle on, clearly they were watching our every move! I’d like to say it was all part of our cunning plan to miss the big rain storm, but that was just a nice coincidence
The weather was so much better than the day before, still windy, but actual blue skies. Whilst trying to find the positives in what we are doing after yesterday, James appreciated not being at work, and I appreciated a cute cow we’d just cycled past.
The hills rolled on, but they weren’t too steep and everything was just a bit more enjoyable. We got to the first ‘pit-stop’ which was 34k from where we’d started. It had taken us 2 hours to get there. Not a good start if we were planning to do 150k in a day. We joined a group of golden oldies who were also at the shop having a coffee, one couple were even riding on a tandem and left us for dust when they set off.
There was going to be lots of climbs, but anything was better than yesterday so we didn’t complain, just played a game of PEDALLLLLLLL on the downhill and see how far it got you back up the other side.
We were in real ‘arse end of nowhere’ and it dawned on me that if these places didn’t have farming, there really would be no communities there. Think of that next time you don’t drink milk / eat NZ meat! Hmmmmmm
We rolled through little town after little town, everything was just hilly, green and blue. Eventually ending up in a little town called Kohukohu where I had my first coffee in a week and it was deeeeeeelightful. We got a 10 minute car ferry across the water and ended up in Rawene.
More hills out of Rawene, but it was all manageable.
We also cycled past some people just dumping shit out of their car into a car park. One thing that has really struck me, which you don’t notice in a car, is how much shit is on the side of the road. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say you can’t cycle 1 meter without seeing some rubbish at the side of the road. It’s terrible.
Eventually we got to the next town and stopped to try and find James a sausage roll as he was flagging a bit, there were none. Previous riders had cleared them out. Then the hills began and the sun came out. It was so hot. Even with sun cream you could still feel the sun burning your skin.
James wasn’t loving life. One effect of his concussion is he is no longer able to regulate his body temperature very well and if he gets too hot he just can’t cope and his head feels like it’s going to explode.
We get to the top of the hill, at about 90ish km in and the headwind reappears whilst we were beginning a 10km climb. It was tough. At one point I stopped to take a stone out of my shoe. Turns out it wasn’t a stone but it was blisters on my feet. Grim.
Whilst climbing James was filming some stuff on his go pro, just after he turned it off a goat jumped out of the hedge in front of me!
We get to the top and have a ‘photo point’ with the oldest kauri tree Tane Mahuta. We walk along the path, get to the end and think oh, this tree looks shit.
Turn around and ohhhhhhhhhh
Finally make it down the hill and into a campsite for the night, never have I been so grateful for a bed to sleep in not having to get out the tent and set up
The adventure continues…