Wednesday 2 January 2013

New Years Adventure - Day 1

Left Palmerston North heading to Matawai. Matawai is mid way between Gisborne and Opotiki on SH2.

It was raining and a bit cool but nothing was going to stop the intrepid explorer. Just out of Woodville the wind picked up and by the time I reached Dannevirke it was really blowing off the Rimutaka's. Arrived at Napier safe and sound if not a little wind blown.

From Napier, I hit the Napier - Gisborne highway. It was a beautiful sunny day with only a little wind. There was a never ending stream of traffic coming from Gisborne as the Rhythm and Vines music festival had finished the previous night. There was very little traffic heading in my direction. What a great road to ride on. Lots of twists and turns made it a really enjoyable ride.

I took a little detour to Mahia Beach to relive my youth. It has changed so much! Just like every other beach community, it has not missed out on being "Yuppified".

Turned off onto SH2 heading to Opotiki. Just when I was congratulating myself on a traffic free run, I came up to a huge queue of cars going in my direction at about 20kph. The beauty of having a bike, I was able to cruise up on the outside of the queue. Most of the cars were good about this and a few even moved to the left to let me through. There are always a couple though who didn't like me avoiding the queue and actually moved to try and block me but they were soon dealt with.

There must have been 100 cars in the queue, all caused by a couple of old trucks fully laden with hay that were really struggling. How they were allowed on the road is beyond me and not a police car in sight. I was not held up much and finally reached the campsite at Matawai, 20km's past the traffic jam.

I had time to check in, pitch my tent and then go looking for a phone before the big queue of cars went past.

Matawai has no cellphone coverage and I had promised "She who must be obeyed" that I would check in every night to let her know I had arrived safely. There was a pay phone, but it only took prepaid cards and there was no where to buy one. The camp ground owners had left, the shop was shut and so was the pub! When in doubt, head for higher ground, so I walked up a hill until I got some cellphone coverage, even if it was just one bar. Not enough coverage to make a call successfully but enough for a text. Got a reply text from my daughter so all was good.

Check in complete ....... or was it?

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