Tour Aotearoa – Day 4

The alarm went off and we had to get up. As we were camped on a cliff top next to harbour it was actually a little cooler last night, for the first time we had to use our sleeping bags!

For those who haven’t heard the hilarious story, James had been googling sleeping bags and found some Sea to Summit Spark SP3’s which seemed perfect. As I’m always cold it’d be warm enough to keep me warm and I’m not sure his logic for getting one for him. There were none left in stock in New Zealand so we had them shipped to a friend in Oz, then posted on to us. They cost a bomb.

Only when we went to Nelson at New Year on our first multi-day bikepacking adventure did we realise that two sleeping bags that can keep you warm up to minus 20 are too hot and we died it was so hot! So, James found a small Polish company online who made really compact sleeping bags and we now have two ‘normal person temperature’ sleeping bags!

We got down to the beach where the boat would pick us up from. All bags had to be unloaded from the bikes and one by one loaded on up the tiny gangway, lifted onto the deck then again lifted onto the upper deck. James kept well out of the way as he is still sick and felt rubbish. Half an hour of lifting bikes would not have done him any good.

Eventually we were all loaded on, it’s still pitch black even gone 6am. Winter is coming. Yuck.

The boat trip was 3 hours long so most people just slept, but the seats weren’t comfy and too narrow to lay on.

It was early, ok?

Eventually we arrive and the bikes are once again unloaded.

People with varying levels of enthusiasm reload their bikes and set off. Thankfully there’s a bakery about 10 minutes down the road so we stop for a coffee, pick up and sandwich and pie.

We followed some other cyclists into Helensville, but, they missed the turn off and so did we.

We climbed up and over some hills, the drivers were terrible, passing really close. We stopped at the top of a hill for a breather, I had unclipped my foot, my bike unbalanced and I just fell on the road.

One of many bruises I am now the proud owner of

Once again it was hot, very hot. We’ve started sporting some terrible tan lines to prove it

We got going again and eventually made it onto the cycle way, wow Auckland, you’re lucky to have this!!

We make it to Mount Eden which is today’s photo point. It’s full of moron tourists just walking wherever the hell they want with no regard for anyone else.

We head back down and stop at another bakery for another pie, James was done for the day and just wanted to go and sleep. I wanted to get out of Auckland as much as we could, it’s known for being tricky to navigate and I just wanted it over and done with. We find a motel near the outskirts of the city online and make a booking. It’s still 30k away though so still a couple of hours pedalling.

We set off and promptly get lost, make our way through Cornwall (?) park. It was beautiful, AND HAD COWS!!!!!!

We cross a bridge and someone had kindly left out of TA rider lucky dip, we dip in and get some lollies and a pretty cool TA sticker

Finally make it to Manakau, where we were staying. Now, this area has a bit of a reputation of being rough, as we are approaching a group of about 10 gang “people” screech past on pit bikes (had to refer to my bike specialist for that, I called them noisy bikes) with no helmets weaving around the road just being dicks. We joked when we saw the police that they probably know who they are and it’s just easier just to leave them be.

James directs us up and over a bridge over a railway line. Having to carry my bike up stairs wasn’t easy, then we look about 200m up the road, there’s a bloody road so I didn’t even need to carry my bike! ARGHHH!

Only when we get to the motel in the evening do I lift up James’ bike to move it and realise his is a good couple of KG lighter! That’s why he wasn’t moaning carrying the bikes up stairs.

The motel room had lazy-boy style chairs, so after an enjoyable shower I could wash my hair, then sit on the sofa and we watched ant and dec’s Saturday night takeaway with a takeaway curry.

An early night was in order to try and kick this cold’s butt and help make James feel more human.

The adventure continues…

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