The trip to the East Coast of the North Island (the person who decided on these names was short on inspiration that day) saw us ride the Hawkes Bay bike trails then head on to Gisborne for a three day walk around two sheep and cattle stations. We completed the ten day trip by taking the coastal route around East Cape (there we go again) and wrapping it all up with a half day bike along a coastal path (Dunes section of the Motu Trails).
The farm stay and walks took place on Rimunui station and Makorori Station. Penny from Rimunui Station had set up and operated a business called Walk Gisborne for a number of years and it was one of many private walks available in New Zealand (it was our first). We were one of the last groups to undertake the walk which I understand closed at the end of the last summer season.
They had converted two of the farm buildings into accommodation, “The Girls Brigade Lodge” and “The Woolshed”. The experience was fun although the weather was not with a southerly gale blowing for both of the first two days. Staying on the feet in the wind, especially on the tops of the “hills” (in most countries they would be called mountains) was challenging.
The fun part was helped by another group who were walking over the farms at the same time as us. They were inspirational, three of the ladies were in their seventies (the “kid” of the group was not far off 70). They had walked most (if not all) of the Great Walks in NZ and many well known walks in other countries.
There did not appear to be any intention on their part to “hang up the walking poles” any time soon. Certainly left me with the belief that there was still plenty of kilometers in our legs for many more walking and cycling adventures. Thanks Saunter Club, you have helped to inspire us to undertake some new adventures in 2015. Ruth also says “thanks” as she is REALLY looking forward to more biking and more hill walking.
One of the joys or challenges of walking around farms can be the animals. But Ruth is always quick to make friends with even the most fearsome.
Following the walk we continued (by car) around East Cape to Opotiki, staying the night in Hicks Bay. A remote part of the country where time runs at a fraction of the pace that it does everywhere else.
The drive from East Cape to Opotiki is one of the prettier coastal drives in New Zealand. The weather finally obliged as did some of the photogenic locals.
The week was capped off with a return ride along the “The Dunes” section of the Motu Bike Trail. It was short but long enough after our battle with the hills and wind.