With warm and calm conditions prevailing this morning, I convinced Ruth that we should ‘throw’ (well lift slowly in my case) the bikes onto the car roof and head off for a few hours cycling along the Twin Coast Cycle Trail.

We had recently completed the West Coast end of the trail so why not make the most of the good weather and bike the East Coast end from Opua to Kawakawa and return.

Ruth led the peloton out of Opua at a blistering pace and before we could break a sweat we were sitting in downtown Kawakawa enjoying a leisurely lunch.

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For the first half of the the trail hugs the tidal Kawakawa river. The mangroves along this stretch of harbour seem to think that they are Kauri trees.
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The tide was in and the scene was very relaxing
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Don’t forget to remove the sunglasses BEFORE entering the tunnel – we are both speaking from experience.
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‘Gabriel’ must have been having a day off – no sign of him anywhere
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But ‘Timmy’ was out on the tracks – he had carried out lot’s of gear to allow the men to fix up the railway line –  we rode on in anticipation of seeing Thomas The Tank Engine.
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This had to be art and not an unusual public toilet.
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Gabriel and Timmy get to chug down the main street in Kawakawa which also happens to be State Highway 1 here in NZ
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The Friedensreich Hundertwasser designed public toilet in Kawakawa. Quite a bit of the architecture in Kawakawa is inspired by this ex pat Austrian (see later picture).
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Even if you don’t need to use the facility it is well worth pretending just to see what has to be one of the more unique public toilets in the World.
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Even a store full of Hunderwasser merchandise
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On our return we had to reduce speed as we made our way across the Kawakawa river. The bridge is being strengthened so that Gabriel and Timmy can chug all the way to Opua – just like their ancestors did in the days when Kawakawa was a coal mining town and Opua was a working port.

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