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Old 10-31-2013, 12:31 AM   #1501
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I'd just like to say.....

jealous, much
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Old 10-31-2013, 12:32 AM   #1502
Padmei OP
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From here the riding got more pressured as we were running slower than expected even tho the few stops were brief. I was unused to this tempo of riding as down here in the South Island we are far more civilised with our excursions spreading a jolly good days ride out over a few hours with the obligatory cafe stops to lighten the heart.

Consequently with the continuous motion & little food & caffeine I could feel my riding skills slowly erode. i was in awe of the locals tenacity & their apparent lack of effort riding across the deep slippery gravel. I plodded on trying as much as possible to not hold the crew up.

Lunch was heralded by our arrival at The damn cafe in Whakasomething at 3pm. This was obviously a popular destination for bikers from all over. Harley riders, sport bike riders all were very friendly. This raises another contrast I found in the North Island- Bikers wave to each other. I rarely bother to wave to bikers down here anymore - or to be more correct- to initiate the wave after being left hanging by my brethren. In the north island however Harley riders, sportbike riders & those in between were constantly gesticulating throughout my time up there.
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Old 10-31-2013, 01:03 AM   #1503
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After lunch we rode some more. Shit I can't remember where we went- All I can remember was I was pretty well over riding on gravel. I recall at one stage riding blacktop on the Northern side of Lake Rotorua really enjoying the scenery & the ease of motoring without wondering if my front wheel was going to wash out or if I will glance off the side of a Hilux coming around the blind corner ahead.

The 'riding gravel for gravels sake' didn't always equate with enjoying the environment.

I realised on this day that my future motorcycling would be more road biased with the occasional gavel foray. Enjoyment is the prime motivator for me to get on a bike & if I'm not enjoying it I know I won't be doing it. I've spent a good part of my life participating in endurance events & it has taken all this time for me to realise I don't need to challenge myself to go the distance - I've done enough things to know I can, however have spent too many hours wondering in hindsight why i did it if I don't feel satisfied with the achievement.

Armed with this acquiescence I trundled along the various forestry tracks & side roads to our camp ground by Opotiki somewhere. (Shit I really have no idea where I was for most of the trip.
it was here I put up the kids play tent I brought along.




OK so a pole was broken & I had misplaced the tent pegs - Teepees are way cooler than any kind of super space age cocoon tent anyways.


I prayed it wouldn't rain that nite...


Edit: Shit that is one sad photo...
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Old 10-31-2013, 01:24 AM   #1504
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In the morning we all rose early to meet the rest of the crew at the bakery in Opotiki.
Here's Nutso's arse. Kinda reminds me of one of the local heffer calves.



Now another highlite of the trip was the Opotiki Bakery. It has the loveliest food on display & very tasty. Yum yum. Fifteen coffees later I was ready to go.
We rode some roads, I think, I can't remember that well. Then we got to the Motu Rd.
Simply amazing piece of road. Truly incredible scenery. I loved it. Fantastic.

At the top.








I was so glad I put the screen on Schmidtty before I left. I rode the whole weekend with 5 layers on - these included a polyprop, inner windproof jacket,, body armour, 10mm thick foam sheet, textile riding jacket & PVC jacket. The remarkable thing about this was that it was beautiful warm weather. I'm going to look into making an electric vest with temp controller to keep me toastier.



Unfortunately I didn't have much time to get any more pics due to the pace except for this

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Old 10-31-2013, 01:44 AM   #1505
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While the others had bit of a lunch break Aslan & myself decided to have a 5 min stop, wolf down some food & take off ahead as we were both feeling like we were holding the others up so thought we'd get some time to cruise ahead at a slower pace until the rest caught up to us.

Unfortunately something happened that wasn't planned - I got lost. Exactly how I don't know cos I was following the pink line on the GPS however it finished outside a farmhouse on a private road. We went one way then the other however try as I might I couldn't make the little triangle indicating us get back onto the pink line.
Consequently we ended up meeting a local hot lass who couldn't help but oogle us dirty smelly adv riders & told us how to get off her private road & up to the main road.
Her look of disbelief & incredibility when Aslan announced we were on our way to the East cape was quite amusing. her face was stating the obvious - we were fricking bat shit crazy.
Eventually we were on the right track & powering off into the late afternoon towards our goal of the East Cape. I love the way how hours of riding tired can be abbreviated into the word "eventually"

The most pressing concern of mine was whether there would be gas at the East cape. We had gone past the point of no return on our gas tanks, I was over riding & my intentions were simple for that nite - finish this damn ride, gas up at East Cape then turn around & start heading south again towards Gisborne, getting as far as I could before sleeping.

Reaching Te Arora I could have kissed the fuel bowser. There was nothing so joyful of pressing the reset button on the tripmeter indicating a full tank of gas.
On the way out to the east cape lighthouse we caught up with the rest of the crew. We were all tired & relieved to get there. They had walked up to the light house. I was happy with taking a crappy photo of Aslan.

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Old 10-31-2013, 01:48 AM   #1506
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.Chris & Nutso had already scoped out the tenting scenario. I was planning on getting the hell out of there. The others had more rational thoughts. There was a quiet decent campground a few ks away. But first we needed some food.

The biggest building in Te Arora was the local hunting & fishing clubrooms. It looked like it was a rugby club in a previous life- it may even still be. it had a homemade sign out side advertising fish & chips so it looked like our only option.


We had discussed at different times over the weekend bike & gear security. When we stopped for lunch we sat where we could keep an eye on our bikes. Meeting our Spanish travelers with all their gear reminded me of my backpacking days. It is often thought of that type of travelling as being a free spirit walking the earth without a care. That is wrong. I have never felt as anchored to anything in my life as I had to that rectangle of cordura & nylon straps.
Whether it's because I don't see my bike or manky gear as being a particular attractive target for thieves or simple apathy or laziness I can't decide so I don't really bother with its' security - It doesn't have a key as I figure no one seems to be able to work out how to start it.

Where am I going with this you ask? Well what I did do when parking the bike and noticing all the local kids in the parking area, was to disconnect my GPS & take it in with me into the clubrooms. The memory of this simple action returned to challenge the liberal pakeha ideology I had adapted over the years. Had they been Pakeha kids would I have bothered? Even now on my return i have heard warnings how the locals would have liked to put me in a pot. I have spent too long in white suburban Nelson
The instant we walked inside what on 1st impression seemed like a fist came swinging out of nowhere towards me. It turned into an wide open hand that gripped mine in a warm friendly handshake.The hand belonged to Murray one of the locals & the usual bar manager. We chatted for a bit then wandered over towards the kitchen returning Kia oras & smiles.
There was a full on Homai te pakipaki going on but the volume was too hard on my ears so I retired out onto the deck where we talked to a young friendly character who gave us the run down on the days big fishing competition.

Soon it was time to put the tent up, this time some cable ties & a screwdriver shaft aided in retaining the normal tent shape. It was a very cool campground & one I'd like to return to.

Padmei screwed with this post 10-31-2013 at 12:02 PM
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Old 10-31-2013, 02:09 AM   #1507
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Originally Posted by Padmei View Post
This raises another contrast I found in the North Island- Bikers wave to each other. I rarely bother to wave to bikers down here anymore - or to be more correct- to initiate the wave after being left hanging by my brethren. In the north island however Harley riders, sportbike riders & those in between were constantly gesticulating throughout my time up there.
Oh dear oh dear oh dear. Padmei! We ride on the left hand side of the road up "here", you were obviously on the wrong side of the road, they were trying to wave you back to the correct side of the road.

:-)

(By the way I found the gravel, sandy, roads around the Rotorua lakes very hard going.
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Old 10-31-2013, 02:16 AM   #1508
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excellent stuff Padmei,love your philosophical view on things...I like the second cruiser ,they called sation wagons i think...would love one of them with a modern diesel
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:07 PM   #1509
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Great stuff, thanks for sharing.
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Old 10-31-2013, 10:15 PM   #1510
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Dawn on the East cape is a marvellous thin. The sun rose behind the bluffs & its orange rays filtered thru the trees to land on the side of my tent. the air was clear & still. nothing else was moving apart from Aslan & Nutso breaking camp.

We were able to see the cool lil campground with its' "Most Eastern cinema in NZ" in daylite. We bade farewell to .chris as he was in for a leisurely cruise back North to Aland. He was good company, laid back with some good stories & an excellent sense of humour.
Three BMWs waddled slowly out of the camp & headed back to Te Araroa. I smiled remembering the "Ten guitars" performances from the previous nite. Had we stayed there a bit longer i would have probably got up & shown them how to do it Sth Island style (imagine off key notes & terrible body palpitations reminiscent of 80's pop videos )

Soon enough we turned right & headed back down South- Homeward bound, Our simple goal was to get to Wellington that nite. A good nights sleep left me wide open to experience the magic of the East coast. The area is stunning. It reminded me a lot of the West coast of the Sth Island. Almost like the land had been forgotten about.

Aslan led me into Tokomaru bay. The residents looked up from their breakfasts, lawnmowers & across from their boats & returned our waves & nods. the sun had risen higher now & the half tide water sparkled. Kids wandered back from the waters edge with plastic bags filled with some kind of bounty.

We parked down by the end jetty.



These grand old buildings in disrepair were interesting but also were indicative of the decline in the economy in these parts. The houses I saw around the east cape were simple, old, not flash. As I rode past I noticed that nearly every house had a reasonable 4wd & some kind of boat. On my trip to Raro this year I struck a similar scenario which posed the age old question- is the true wealth of a life to do with what one owns or with what one does with what one owns? Too many ones in that sentence? I'm sure every parent in the area would respond with the answer that they would love to let their tamariki & moko have the opportunities for education, employment & prosperity that other regions have. I guess that is why there are 5 times as many Cook islanders in Auckland than in Raro.





I loved this place




The remainder of the ride down to Wellywood was magnificent. We had amazing weather for the last few days & the rain that hit us from Featherston onwards wasn't a problem as I knew we weren't too far from a hot shower & comfy bed.

Aslan kindly put me up for the night & the next morning I was up at what was now the usual time - pre 6am to get to the ferry for the return home.

My speed on the trip from Picton to Nelson rarely reached 90kph as I wound around the Queen charlotte rd settling back into the Sth Island vibe.
Schmidt had performed brilliantly throughout the trip. I was happy that it was no noisier than the other airheads - one of my concerns before riding other airheads. Phils souped up GS had heaps of grunt with his big bore kit & Gus' front end was like floating on air - I made a point of trying to hit every pot hole on the road when I rode it to see if I could feel them - nope, Nutso has done good with that one.

Upon reaching Cas del crayfish I stopped at the letterbox, got the mail & then rode up the driveway. I kid you not - 5metres from the letterbox up our driveway there was an ugly sound coming from the bottom of the bike. The only way to describe it is to imagine an old wheel out of a 19th century mill revolving slowly with each slow revolution giving something a waWhooomp at a certain point.
I nursed the bike up the rest of the driveway to the top, got off, dumped all the gear in the workshop & went inside without looking back.

The whole trip was an adventure. I travelled thru atrocious weather, saw some incredible scenery, rode some gnarly gravel, experienced riding way beyond my comfort level, met warm friendly locals, got wind & sun burnt everyday & had a hell of a time. That what adventure riding is all about.

I owe many thank yous. 1st to Phil & Colin for putting this cape to cape ride together. You did a sterling job organising this I appreciate the time taken, miles ridden & hours in front of the computor & GPS' logging it all. Your patience & sense of humour was invaluable-

Thanks to Steve & Stephen for the accom, navigation & companionship. Also to Michael for accom up at New Plymouth.

The rest of the Naki riders & Chris were great company. I enjoyed laughing with you all.

If any of need accom in Nelson I'd love to reciprocate.

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Old 11-01-2013, 12:07 AM   #1511
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nice write up padders. It always amuses me how people go on about the south island.Yes it is very pretty but I think we have more roads to ride around in the north. You will have to return and do Waikarermoana. East west and sth of Taihape , north of ashurst. More back roads around Gizboring and then north of Awakino to Post Waikato you could get lost in there for a week. Within 80kms of TeKuiti there are lots of great roads. best not forget Northland.
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Old 11-01-2013, 12:49 AM   #1512
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nice write up padders. It always amuses me how people go on about the south island.Yes it is very pretty but I think we have more roads to ride around in the north. You will have to return and do Waikarermoana. East west and sth of Taihape , north of ashurst. More back roads around Gizboring and then north of Awakino to Post Waikato you could get lost in there for a week. Within 80kms of TeKuiti there are lots of great roads. best not forget Northland.
wot he sed
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Old 11-01-2013, 01:16 PM   #1513
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Thank you for the kind remarks gentlemen.

Yes Steve I have to confess that I have been guilty of dismissing the North Island as a place to ride down thru to get to the "real" New Zealand (bear in mind I lived in Aland for 34 years travelling for surf & mtb trips before moving down here). I humbly apologise to all my Nth Island Brethren. It seems i had forgotten its' beauty & needed the guidance of some knowledgeable locals to get out of the rat race & into the never never.
When we got lost I was astounded how isolated some of these farms were.

nutso wanted to take me thru Waikeremoana however time & energy levels compelled me to blacktop it back to Welly. Another time definitely.
I used to agree by that old adage that the further south you get the friendlier people are - that is absolute crap. There are awesome people everywhere - sometime they are just well hidden.
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Old 11-01-2013, 01:23 PM   #1514
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Great rr again China.

Yup , up norf does require a lot more exploring by us "South Islanders".

any news on Schmidts tummy rumblings?
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Old 11-01-2013, 01:29 PM   #1515
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5metres from the letterbox up our driveway there was an ugly sound coming from the bottom of the bike. The only way to describe it is to imagine an old wheel out of a 19th century mill revolving slowly with each slow revolution giving something a waWhooomp at a certain point.
Try rotating the rear wheel backwards. I sometimes get a stone caught between the the final drive & wheel. Makes a hell of a racket, but is an easy fix. The first time it happened to me I thought Armageddon had come.
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