90 km from Auckland, and #TandemTA Tour Aotearoa getting serious

Fabulous day’s cycling today south-east from our generous hosts in Auckland Annette and Steven Thoms.

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Steven and Annette Thoms saying farewell this morning in their charming Auckland courtyard.

Pouring with rain, but a howling and most helpful tailwind, and after 10 days on the road, both sets of tandem legs front and back beginning to get seriously into gear.

(BTW realised today that when cycling, there is no such thing as bad weather or hills that are too steep,  but only ever the wrong gear…)

We’d hoped to make it to another Warmshowers friend south of Thames (funny, as Annette says, how many places in the UK are named after towns in New Zealand), but a succession of 1000-foot climbs (OK, one and a half of them) between the Great South Road out of Auckland and Route 2 east towards Touranga slowed us down mightily.

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Heading uphill. MUCH steeper than it looks here
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... as Jutta will testify, pushing the last bit from the back

So we “only” made it a pretty creditable 90km to the lovely camp site and the volcanic hotpools of coastal Miranda – aaaaahhh, the relief of a long hot sulphurous soak for well-exercised muscles… 

Tomorrow (Jutta’s birthday, as of which for a couple of months we’re both a still sprightly 65) we head straight south along one of the dozens of old railway tracks which the Kiwis are turning very successfully into dedicated long-distance cycle paths, in this case the Hauraki Trail.

We both (honestly, says Jutta, she too) look forward to managing a ferry-sailing-times-uncompromised full 100km in the direction of Matamata (not a name I’m aware which has made it yet to Blighty), with what the Kiwi weather(wo)men promise will be another wetly howling tailwind propelling us from the north.

But before we go, a word from Daisy,  who enjoyed posing for photographs outside a supermarket in the Auckland outskirts this morning…

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This one tandem is not for sale

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