After saying goodbye to our hosts, Penny & Anita, we left the farm towards the town of Pukekohe for morning coffee. Whilst it was mostly rolling countryside along the same range that the farm was located, we had to drop down to the river and cross it. The road, being under repair, was covered with loose gravel, so curtailing the opportunity to have a fast ride to the bottom. We got the full range of road surfaces today, from gravel, to rough bitumen and some smooth parts in between and, whilst it was not a major highway, it was also busy – probably everyone trying to get all their work done before the “big” cricket game to be held in Auckland tomorrow.
Morning tea was at Pukekohe where Colleen found a cafe with upside down plants and lights hanging from upside down cups and saucers. The long main street provided opportunities for retail therapy and then, having successfully avoided a bought of rain, it was on towards Waiuku for lunch staying at one of only 2 motels in town.
Ed, Rayner, Don & Mark rode on to Karoitahi Beach on the west coast, thus fulfilling an objective of having ridden coast to coast. Karoitahi Beach is an amazing BLACK sand beach with superfine black sand. Unfortunately, the descent down to the beach was also amazingly steep – with brakes smoking on the way down. The return trip up “Kamikaze hill” (to die for) into headwind was special. So special, a drink at the oldest licensed hotel in NZ (at Waiuku) was called for.
Colleen, Liz & Michelle did the sane thing – drove to the beach, took walks, discovered a beautiful waterfall and also returned to the hotel.
Distance: 65 km including the extra 16 km to the west coast.
Highlight: An incredibly beautiful black sand beach.