As always, fuller set of photos here.
I said I probably wouldn’t blog again very soon, but rounding a corner yesterday on the final stretch into Kat’s home province of Taranaki, seeing the local volcano looming above the clouds just stopped me in my tracks, and I couldn’t resist sharing a couple of views.
So, a final day of 90 miles/146km saw me spinning up the south coast of Taranaki with a fabulous tailwind in burning sunshine, a bit up and down, but allowing self and Raven to complete the first part of this amazing journey in speed and in style.
Kat and partner Mela, with Mela’s Mum Laura, had prepared a fabulous, and thanks to a couple of Tui beers also a cooling and liquid welcome at Mela’s childhood home in Normanby, just off the main highway out of Hawera north towards New Plymouth.
900 miles in all so far, or 1440km, with a further couple of days after Christmas riding up what they call here the Forgotten Highway, then a week in Napier and Hawkes Bay with first mountain bikes and then Raven again, pottering round some gentle trails with Kat and Mela and visiting a few vineyards.
And to round off five weeks in NZ, there’ll be three days canoeing/kayaking down the Wanganui river, self-sufficient with tents and food carried with us in a group of about 12.
Mostly youngsters, but I’m glad to hear from Kat and Mela that there’ll be a related couple in their 50s, so I won’t need to feel too embarrassed by my slow progress.
After all, it’s my legs which have got me this far. My arms and shoulders have been serving only as shock absorbers and are now having to work for their living. And a – young – Swiss couple biking south whom I met on the way north said they’d just done the river, and it was Hard Work.
Wish me luck! And to remind, fuller set of most recent photos here.