Today was a brilliant day on the bike. I totally love New Zealand and all it has to offer.
Sue had breakfast in bed today prepared by her trusty co-companion. I questioned the breadcrumbs between the sheets and she laughed and said she was not sleeping in the bed that night.
Sue also learned today that chamois creme should be applied to the chamois!
The day was overcast but more importantly there was no rain and no wind!
Leaving Rotorua we passed a couple of geothermal pools, with steam rising in the early morning.
We were predominantly on very quiet and beautiful back roads all morning. It was so peaceful and you could hear an occasional cow and the birds chirping.
However the serenity was broke when Sue did not see me stopped at a navigational point continuing on the wrong road. I sprinted off at full steam shouting her name at the top of my lungs. Solid workout I must say! It turns out Sue had heard a noise but thought it was a sacred kiwi bird with an unusual call. It was just me….screaming Sue, Sue…
Yesterdays severe storm damage was evident in many sections.
We had a short section on the highway before stopping for some lunch. The nearest miss of the whole trip to date was from a guy in a blue truck that had the motto on the back “Live the life you imagine”. I wondered whether his was hitting cyclists as it seemed an oxymoronic statement given how closely he threatened my existence.
When we stopped for lunch I mentioned it to Sue and she had a similar experience. Found the truck just before lunch at a service station. Registration very clear!
As we were leaving the Bull Ring Tavern we met Tony from Manchester, England who also works as a cycling guide for an English touring company. He was laden with 40kg of gear and is in New Zealand for 3 months.
Tony also got buzzed by the same truck! 3 cyclists in a few km!!
We were thankful that we only needed a few more km on the highway before turning off into Tirohinga Road. This signalled an afternoon of climbing rolling hills in beautiful agricultural countryside.
At around the 74 km point we were both low on water. The afternoon was quite hot and humid. Sue had stopped looking,for water at a closed Maori Community Centre.
We rode into a cadet training centre well off the road. It seemed abandoned but had a functioning water hydrant. Maybe I should fill up that empty new bottle I bought yesterday sitting pretty in my bike, ha ha ha!
Upon leaving I experienced my first mechanical. I had dropped my chain and it was jammed underneath the black tool box on my bike. Sue had the sensible idea of turning the bike upside down. Yeah!! It worked and off we headed with 4 black greasy hands!
The next 8 km were to be the toughest of the day. Hot and a decent climb. Thank goodness for the water!
Then it was predominantly downhill to Taupo. First view.
Closer to the lake.
So we checked in, ripped our cycling clothes off and went straight into the lake. Bit fresh but lovely. We then bummed around on the beach in the sun, with the magical snow capped mountain as a backdrop. So European and majestic.
We sat on the deck of the hotel and ate our takeaway dinner.
Sue and I are both in love with this place! Dont expect us home anytime soon!
Finally this is what our bedrooms typically look like. A Chinese laundry. We will be cosy tonight too as we have to share a bed for the first time….and you can see me doing this blog too.