Tour of the Far North – Day’s 3 & 4

Today was going to be the easiest ride of the tour. 34k along ninety mile beach to the last camp before Cape Reinga. After yesterday’s 68km ride that included a couple of serious hills and a very warm day thrown in for good measure, I was very happy for today to be a semi rest day.

84km of beach to go.
Oh for the shade of a Pohutukawa tree.

For a moment it didn’t look promising. I found the Hukatere exit, battled the dry sandy road down to the camp. The gate was padlocked. I looked up the camp phone number and left a message. Then did the maths on tackling the 77k to the Cape. It wasn’t pretty and, as I was playing around with my planner the phone rang. The lady running the camp needed a rest after Easter and had closed. It must have been my whiny voice or she has a soft spot for hikers and bikers but she drove out and let me in. I have the camp to myself and after my profuse apologies for interrupting her break she gave me three little Easter eggs. There are still nice people around.

Just me and the horses in the camp today. The shower is at your own risk. A colony of bees have taken up residence on the shower head.

Yesterday’s ride started with a ferry across the Hokianga Harbour. After a surprisingly good sleep in the tent, helped by a much warmer night, I was up early and caught the 8:15am “commuter run” ferry across the Hokianga harbour. Thankfully a little cafe in Kohukohu was open and I enjoyed a delicious cooked breakfast. I knew that I had around 20km before the first big hill of the day and reckoned that breakfast would be settled before the ‘gut busting’ began.

Rawene from the car ferry.
The little outdoor cafe in Kohukohu got top marks for food and coffee. Helped by being open which the other one was not.

I decided that looking at elevation profiles on my phone app fills me with dread. I know exactly when the hill is going to arrive and how many more there will be. However, the last one is now a moment of great(sweaty) joy.

It was hot and my ‘engine’ was overheating a little.
But the app told me that I was at the top of my last hill.

It was a good ride, through a part of the country that I have never visited. The historic signs along the route told a story of an area that was once quite populated. While working through my breakfast I had plenty time to read a fascinating history of the early days of Kohukohu – history that we were never taught at school.

These signs pointing to the location of schools long since gone, told of more prosperous times.
Why throw your junk out when you can turn it into a fence.

I have 154kn to cover in the next two days. Up to the Cape tomorrow then back down SH 1 to meet Ruth in Houhara. The rain earlier predicted for Friday has gone from the forecast so I may get all six days rain free.

Route day 3.

Route day 4.

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