Thursday, March 5, 2015

Matata Beach to Ohope Beach NZ

It was raining overnight and in the morning today. I was bummed but it looked like it might stop for a while and when it did I took off on my bike hoping not to get soaked in a big downpour from the very black sky. It only sprinkled a few times on me and I made it as far as Ohope before the clouds just looked like they were going to open up on me so I stopped. The ride today was mostly through rural farmland on flat roads. Near the end I did have to pedal up a big steep hill but it wasn’t too bad. The forecast is for heavy rain for the next two or three days so I am going to just sit tight here in the campground until the weather gives me a break. In fifteen days here in New Zealand it has rained for 12 of them. Lucky me.

Yesterday I had sun screen on all day while riding and I got no burn but when I got to my camp yesterday I took a shower and washed it off without putting more on. I ended up only being in the sun for 10 to 15 minutes after the shower but I got a good burn on my face and arms in that short time. There is a huge hole in the ozone layer here in New Zealand and over in Australia. I hope I learned my lesson.

My campground today is on the tip of a peninsula with very nice ocean beaches on one side and a quiet bay on the other side. If it stops raining I will try to get some decent pics of the place. At least they have decent wifi here so even though I will be stuck here for a couple days I will have something to do.

Te Puke to Matata Beach NZ

I got an early start today at about 7am. New Zealand is not a country of early birds any more. Back in the 70s here people all seemed to get up at 4 am and go to bed by 7:30 pm. Today most places do not open until 8 or 9 in the morning so I frequently have to wait for my coffee. I found a cafe open in town and ate a big breakfast of sausages, bacon, eggs, multigrain toast, fried tomato and some mushrooms. I had my usual long black coffee with that. It felt good to eat a hearty breakfast then hit the road.

The road was mostly flat today. I was told by someone that I could ride along a trail to get past a large estuary along the coast and the info was wrong so I had to backtrack about 8 miles to go around it. Such is life. I did not mind. So most of the day I was riding on the main highway 2 which carries lots of big trucks. There was enough room for me most of the time except for at bridges where all shoulder disappears. I would stop and wait for a clear time to cross the bridges because I do not feel like getting squished by a pair of logging trucks or something like that crossing the bridge at the same time. I stopped a couple of times just to rest and look around. It was mostly overcast so pics were tough of scenery but when the clouds cleared I took a few beach pics and of the birds around my camp. Otherwise just a good cycle day without problems and without rain so far today. Plus my campground was only $5 today. I went out and ordered fish and chips and the pic below is of the part I was not able to finish. It was a huge platter of fish and chips and tasty. The birds are mud ducks and they are all over NZ it seems like.

I met and talked with a lot of Kiwis in the camp and met one French guy hitch hiking around the country. They are all friendly but they all tell me I am crazy. It did rain by nightfall and more early the next morning.

Mount Maunganui to Te Puke NZ

Today it was raining from about 4am until 11 am. I went out in the fog and rain for coffee and found some half decent wifi so I caught up on that while I waited for the rain to stop. It didn’t stop so I went to the hot pools again and soaked for an hour. The rain started to let up then so I packed my tent up and took off hoping to get a few miles in. I went about 4 miles and the rain started up again. Not a hard rain just a constant drizzling grey mist that soaked me to the bone. I gave up after only about 30 miles and stopped at a campground to try to dry out. I just can’t seem to get away from the rain. No pics in the rain. Not a lot to take pics of in the overcast foggy weather but I did take a couple when the sun peeked its head out for a few minutes. Maybe tomorrow will be a nicer day.