Thursday, February 26, 2015

Tararu to Waihi via Rails to Trails Path

Today I rode from Tararu to Waihi NZ. Most of the ride was on the Hauraki Rails to Trails bike path. The trail is crushed shell and gravel but it is packed fairly hard so it was a fairly easy mostly flat ride.

The first part of the ride was through dairy farms and such in a big flat valley following the Thames river. The last part of it was more interesting for me going through the Karangahake Gorge along a faster flowing river. The gorge was a big gold mining area so there were gold mines to visit and trains to ride that used to carry the ore. I did not do those things because I have done them many times in the past. The people I talked to that did them all liked it though.

I am in a Holiday park again tonight. The guy next to me has spent 4 months riding around the country so we have had a good talk with the maps out about where to go and where to avoid. He was a young Londoner and we enjoyed our evening. He goes home in a few days.

There was lots of talk about riding here in New Zealand. There is a ton of animosity between vehicle drivers and bike riders. The accident rate reflects this with the third most dangerous roads for biking in the world. The roads are narrow but a lot of bikes and cars both do not share very well. I just hope I don’t pay for this stupidity by getting hit.

It is already 8pm and I have not made a plan for tomorrow yet. I may just stay here or I may head down to the coast. Who knows??? not me.

Miranda Hot Springs to Tararu NZ

Today I rode from Miranda Hot Springs to Tararu NZ. I am spending the night in another Holiday Park which is a chain of campgrounds that also offer old trailers and caravans or an old bus or something like that to sleep in. They also have a variety of cabins from dorms to fancy homes. I had planned on riding around the Coromandel Peninsula but there is a big snapper fishing tourney this weekend so everything is booked up and traffic will be crazy. Instead I am going to ride the Hauraki Bike Rails to Trails down to Waihi which is a two day ride through dense forest and shrub then into a valley that is all farms. Missing the Coromandel is a bit disappointing but it is a tough ride in the best of times over lots of steep mountains with twisting winding narrow roads with no shoulders and there is more rain in the forecast just to make it more fun.

Heading south there should be less rain than up here in the northern part of the country is what all the Kiwis tell me. I hope so. After the Rail ride I want to go see the glowworm caves and see Rotorua but I have no firm plans with anything as you all know.

The wifi really sucks so far. The campground I am in offers wifi but it can’t even open Facebook without a data overload error. I have had a hard time finding any wifi that will allow me to upload pics to my blog. Google is also messing with me. Google tries to predict what I want to do and messes me up by changing the account I want to use. I wish they would stop trying to make me fit into normal patterns of anything cause lets face it I am just not normal. More later...

Kawakawa Bay to Miranda

I went from Kawakawa Bay to Miranda today so I am now about 110 miles from Auckland. Again today was a wet misty ride that pretty much eliminated a lot of the views I could have had. The rain actually felt good on me as it kept me cooler. Visibility for drivers to see me was good enough plus on the winding hills I always pulled off the road on the blind curves when I heard a vehicle coming. There were big tandem logging trucks on the narrow road today so my caution was not unfounded because they have to cut the corners short or risk hitting oncoming traffic.

I stopped at a pottery shop and talked to the owners that make dragon and abstract fish pottery. Their daughter is going to Austin on a full boat scholarship and they were very proud of her. We talked about a half an hour and I got back on the road. I also met a Kiwi couple on a tandem bike that live in an RV and ride their tandem almost everyday. They were fun to talk to because they were complaining about how the cost of accommodation has skyrocketed here in New Zealand which I have discovered first hand. My hotel last night was $130 and that is not in my budget but it was an emergency hotel stay due to the cold heavy rain.

Today I am staying in Miranda Holiday park which has a hot springs pool, TV lounge, full kitchen, nice bathrooms with hot showers and laundry. I am going to kick back in the pool when I am done with this post.

Not much for pics today because the misty rain obliterated the views. I was impressed with the density of the forest I rode past today. It looked primordial. I have expected dinosaurs to step out of the bush. There were lots of dead opossums and hedgehogs on the road today. The possums here are cute not the ugly things we have in the states. The
hedgehogs are small and cute also but there must be a ton of them both cause there was so much roadkill.