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  Monday, 14 April 2008

Monday morning
The sunrise as I biked through Hira this morning.

9:15:40 PM    Comment []

  Saturday, 12 April 2008

East Cape Camping

The East Cape camp ground consists of a large mowed paddock with a dodgy looking long-drop in one corner, and a single freshwater tap in the middle. The sparse facilities didn't bother me, in fact, I kind of liked it. The beach, the swimming hole, and the expansive views made my stay here the best 'day-off' of my trip. I spent a day just walking and riding the beach, visiting the lighthouse, and swimming in the un-naturally warm swimming hole at the small river mouth (visable in this shot). I did my laundry under the tap, and dried it hanging on bits of driftwood poked into the sandy ground. Because the water was delivered via a long black hose that snaked several hundred meters across the paddock, and it was in full sun all day, each time I used the tap I got a couple of minutes worth of hot water. I was the only one tenting there that day so the hot water was all mine... so was the beach. I wished I had a kite with me, but I did have my camera...

Beachcombing at East Cape





11:17:49 AM    Comment []

  Saturday, 5 April 2008

Campsite at Lake Tutira

Just north of Napier is little lake Tutira. It was a great find during my cycle-tour. There is free camping on its shores. Being on a bike I got the best spot in the place. A grassy little bluff under huge oak tree that the buses and camper vans couldn't drive to. I rode my bike up there through the trees, and pitched my tent so I got this exact view from my tent door.

Lake Tutira

The lake was bursting with bird-life including more black swans than I could count.

Misty morning at Lake Tutira

I had an early start the next morning and when I was packing up the lake was covered in a thick mist. The mist began to break up and lift, and the sun leaked through as I rode around the western shoreline to continue my journey north (into some of the meanest hills I encountered the whole 3 weeks on the road.)

10:42:23 AM    Comment []

  Friday, 4 April 2008

The Rimutaka Rail Trail was one of the highlights of my bike tour up north. It came as a welcome break from state highway 2. The trail is only 18km but the points of interest along the way, like bridges, tunnels, old station platforms, and good signage, made it seem longer.

Rimutaka Rail Trail Tunnel
The Xtracycle after riding though the Summit Tunnel built around 1877. It is 576m long and kind of scary to ride through.

The way up, from the South was a gentle, sometimes winding, incline typical of most railway routes. The descent of the northern side was something else entirely. A white knuckle ride all the way to the platform at Cross Creek. I took a moment at the bottom to check the xtracycle over. All loaded up on a fast rocky descent like that must be near the limits of what the bike and free radical can handle. I half expected to find some sort of damage, but the rig handled it fine. The final leg was a 20 min technical little single-line walking track through manuka forest.With all the weight loaded low, keeping my center of gravity well below my knees somewhere, the xtracycle not only handled this track fully loaded, it excelled, even one the slow tricky bits.


Pakuratahi Bridge - 1876; 28m long, this is a "Howe" truss bridge. It is the oldest truss bridge in New Zealand, and was rebuilt in 1910 after a fire.

Pakuratahi Tunnel - built in 1876 and 73m long, this was the first concrete block structure in New Zealand. It was curved so you couldn't see the other end when you entered.... creepy.

A welcome sight.

7:48:46 PM    Comment []

  Thursday, 3 April 2008

Linkwater Waterfall

10:01:17 PM    Comment []

  Wednesday, 2 April 2008

East Cape Lighthouse

I'm home, safe & sound... and I've been to the most easterly lighthouse in the world on my bike. 1974 kilometers there and back. It is good to be home.

10:34:23 PM    Comment []

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Last update: 5/10/2008; 2:16:56 p.m. .