They're a friendly old bunch, the Kiwi's. Ask them directions to the nearest campsite, they offer you their back garden!!!
Firstly, we owe a huge 'Thank you' to Marty and Glenda (is every male in NZ called Marty?!). We popped in to their net cafe at the side of the road for some respite from the sun at its peak, they couldn't have been more helpful - calling several nearby campsites to see if they had space for us, drawing us a map and giving us a bag full of scooby snacks for our trip. Glenda makes THE BEST home made sausage rolls EVER!!! (Tee enjoyed her bananas).
We then got to our very luxurious campsite, at Kerikeri, where we met our host, a very red faced Phil and his moped, who proceeded to give us a guided tour of his spectacular facilities, which were clearly his pride and joy. After hearing his life story, and seeing the pristine shower area, we were keen to get out of our smelly clothes and into the showers. Eagerly anticipating a magical shower, we were undressed and ready to go, popped our $2 into the box...NO FREAKING WATER!!! Back into our sweaty clothes and found the 'basic' shower block, with running water :-)
We managed to do our washing at this campsite, but unfortunately Kath couldn't distinguish between the washer and dryer, so our clothes got washed twice! Luckily Phil's Thai employee came running, shouting "Noooooo... don't do that" Ooops! Out they crawled and into the dryer!
After a good nights sleep, we packed up our gear , waved goodbye to Phil and his moped and set off heading to Wangarai. The undulations today were longer with a lesser gradient than the first couple of days, but the sun was still in full force. We are starting to develop a nice 'bike tan' - Tee especially with her Aussie start! We ventured onto the main highway for a few km, before realising that the slower 'B' type roads are much more gratifying not only in terms of scenery, but also flow of traffic. Having almost been blown into oblivion by several trucks (although their wind force was good for a push along at times!) we came off that road as quickly as we could and re-joined our trusty B roads, along the beautiful scenery. We stopped at the top of a hill for a photograph of the amazing scenery - the ocean in the distance on one side of the road and lush fields of grass and cows on the other.
Tonight we ended up on a beautiful campsite on the beach in Waipu. Upon arrival, a lovely Kiwi lady took a liking to us, and approached us with a bag of fresh Snapper, caught that morning! Tee cast it a look of disgust, while Kath's eyes lit up and accepted it with great enthusiasm, later revealing to Tee that she was full but accfepted out of gratitude for her generosity. At odds with what to do with the mass of lovely Snapper, Kath decideed to hide it in the tent...Tee repulsed by this! An hour or so later, Kath got peckish, so we cooked this fish with the campsite faciulities and it was AMAZING! Tee also managed to have a conversation with a Londonner, who came over to our tent asking if we had a spliff?!?! No...but Tee's offer of bananas were politely declined!
We headed out the following morning, nice and early. Began riding through Langs Beach coastal region - so beautiful here, then began some steep climbs through the cliffs, with equally steep descents. Unfortunately, road works had been carried out on one particular winding descent, which made it very hard to remain in control of the bike with all the gravel on the ground. Tee was flying down the hill, attempting to slow down at a sharp bend, and flew off the bike. With blood on her arms and legs, the plaster/band aid offered by a passer by was never going to suffice! It was clear that medical help was needed. Kath found a guy with a truck and asked him to take Tee and her bike to the nearby medical centre. He (Shayne) kindly took Tee along, where the nurses quickly took her in. Big thanks to the lovely nurse Heather, who was very caring and kind. Two stitches later, with bandages and ice pack in place, we went for a well deserved coffee across the road.
Having some hours passed by we reassessed our plan, decided to try to carry on and play it by ear.
It was a very long day and Tee was a trojan, she managed to carry on and we covered at least 95km that day. This was amazing considering the injuries, and the hills that were undertaken. Well done Tee!!!
We stayed at Kaukapakana that night, there was no campsite and we had been out of water for what felt like hours, so we pulled into a pub in this village, where we stayed the night. Tee rebandaged her wounds, Kath feeling a bit sick with the dripping gunk. Kath repulsed by the room - slept on her sleeping bag rather than the mattress(!) and was eaten alive by mosquito's. Give me a tent anyday!
Determination and strength pulled us through the following morning...during trying times we were thinking of our charities and the amazing people back home who have sponsored us.
On route to Auckland, following highway 16, we somehow branched off onto the new motorway, where we were quickly escorted off here by the traffic officers! Luckily Kath had experienced this before in Spain, so recognised the flashing arrows and stopped accordingly, while Tee remained oblivious, happily carrying on!
This brings us to today, where we have covered a phenomenal distance. Luckily the weather was cooler and the terrain much flatter, so we were able to catch up on lost km. We are almost at our destination (Glen Massey) and will be absolutley pooped tonight!
Signing off for now, thank you all for your support. Knowing you are thinking of us is a brilliant inspiration!
Love K & T xxxxxxx