Back yesterday from a trip out with Mandy. We'd delayed from Saturday, 'cause the weather was poor. Which allowed me to catch up on some work.
Started with a ride up to Taumaranui via Pohangina / Ridge Rd. Not the most successful - it took me a while to get the suspension dialled in. The bike was wallowing & pushing the front end. Mandy DEFINITELY doesn't like me standing on the pegs. As you can see, not the most tropical.
Lunched at the Soul Food Cafe in Taihape. Nice food but small portions. Mandy grumbled about that for a while. Good coffee though.
Got a wet arse just before National Park, when the rain set in. I could see a break in the weather ahead & so didn't stop. Typically, the rain didn't stop, water started to pool in the nether regions, so I gave up chasing the fine weather, stopped & put on the wets. Then the sun came out.
Missed doing the 42nd. Given the weather, thought we'd allow that to dry out a bit.
Stayed at the Taurmaranui Holiday Park. Monday it bucketted down, so had a quiet day. Tuesday off to Whangamomona. Just a 'there & back trip'. Mandy wasn't keen on the extended version I'd planned.
The Old Whanga Rd was just too wet to attempt with Mandy (recurrent theme). We did have a look. I'd thought we might get out to the tunnels. But with a stuffed MT21 front, discretion took the better part of valor. Nice lunch at the Hotel though.
Loads of wild life on the road (also a theme for the trip). Mama pig wasn't
happy I was there...
But we did get to play with Julia (the vegetarian Kune Kune) at the camp. Sorry your head's missing Helena.
The cabin (10) was new this year, built from the design of what had been there (& had been trucked off by the old owners). Heavily insulated, & worth asking for when the weathers inclement). They are thinking of adding ensuites to the cabins.
Made it to the 42nd the next day....
....but more rain kept us out.
Back to Taumaranui for a quick coffee at the Flax Cafe. Yummy caramel slice & coffee. The Cafe is for sale. All yours for $135k. We'd tried 3 times to get a coffee there but they'd been closed each time.
Met a British couple from the Hawkes Bay touring on a customised Vulcan (?). They'd just come from Stratford thru the Forgotten Highway, & were headed for Taupo. We ended up seeing them 3 more times this day..
Quick trip thru the clouds to Taupo (Taumaranui / Turangi). Stopped at a lookout at the peak of the road (nothing to see - completely clagged in), & ended up chatting with some Taranaki people who pulled up. They were touring in a converted bus. We could small burnt toast. They were fixing breakfast for their small child. The wonders of taking your world with you.
Unfortunately wind made the western end of the lake less pleasant. Picked up lunch from the supermarket at Turangi, but missed the lakefront stops on the southern end of the lake. Ate that in the freezing wind nr the 'Hole In One' at Taupo.
How long has the Taupo bypass been open? Wasn't paying attention & wasn't expecting the roundabout coming up on the main road into Taupo. Bit of panic braking there....
Stayed at 'All Seasons' camp at Taupo. Have to say the cabin at $62 was nicest / best value for the trip. Bunks & a double bed / TV / plates & cutlery / tea & coffee provisions / fridge. Had a Burgerfuel meal out, then chatted to Rob from Blenhiem, who was collecting a V-Max from Taupo that day. He'd had a bumblebee black & yellow '89 R100GS, which he'd recently sold. He'd realised he wasn't riding enough, & wanted a change. Nice guy. Wish I could grow a beard like that. Also seemingly into older bikes.
Next day did the Taupo to Wairoa run, via Murapara (which we found fairly depressed when we toured in looking for a cafe & gas) & Lake Waikaremoana, which as always is impressive scenery wise. Took a short cut pre Murapara via Goudies Rd, which the forestry tried to state was closed & private...as if... The trip took the day to do.
They are making progress sealing the road down from Murapara. It'd be excellent if they swept the loose stuff off after they'd finished though.
Stopped to make an instant coffee at a lookout just after the seal ended. While I was taking the above panorama photo (& was somewhat hidden up the track to the right), a Maori roared up in an old Mitsi (Mohawk haircut, shaved at the sides), leaped out of the car, & was peering over the edge of the embankment. The rear of the Mitsi was covered in blood. When I went down to talk to him he said they'd shot a stag here. Sure enough when I looked over the edge there was the stags forelegs...Everything else - gone.
At Countdown Gisborne, got to talking to 'Gordon' who said he'd been working on Kiwipeet's KTM 640a. Told me all about progress, & the plans once the bike was back on the road.
The BM's big tank is a people magnet. If I stayed near the bike for more than a minute, then someone always popped up wanting to talk about it / bikes...
Based ourselves from Gisborne's Waikanae Beach Top 10 Holiday Park. Have to say that while right on the foreshore & in a very pretty surroundings, the camp management needs lessons on phone manner / service / being competitive (but no issues with the girl that served us when we got in). They charged a surcharge, based on how busy they expected to be. But the camp was basically less than 1/2 full (if I was generous). We got an 'ensuite cabin'. The mattresses were the cheapest sprung jobs I have every encountered. Only padded (lightly) on one side. Guess which side was up on my bed..The flattest pillows ever. No TV / Plates etc. Room smelled somwhat of spew. They were having ongoing issues with theft...
Took a day trip up to Tolaga Bay to visit the 660m pier...
Did the trip back to Wellington all in one day. It wasn't planned that way... Easter meant that all the affordable accommodation was already taken. Stopped at Mahia Beach - we'd never been there. Very nice, if a little monied..
Lost daylight nr Palmerston North. My visor & the headlight was covered in bugs. Made a huge difference to visibility when I cleaned them off at Otaki. Maccs for dinner at Paraparaumu. Made it home at 8.15 last night in typical gusty weather to find one of the front fences had blown down in the crappy weather they'd had here. Cat was pleased to see us though...