Tour du Karikari

Today was a cruisy day..the easiest scheduled day out of 11 days riding, both in terms of distance and climbing.  So I was in no great rush to leave Coopers Beach, as I was cosy and comfy, enjoyed a nice breakfast and chat with my hosts.

Then I read the review that the guy who owned the caravan, Day 2 caravan debacle wrote about me…he was full of shite, covering his backside, inferring I did not arrive at  2pm, that he had a nice warm shower and towels waiting for me… and these problems were all of my own doing ( the soggy toilet and toilet paper were overlooked)..oh boy, I am going to do something about his electrical safety issue now! I have the photo …I might just save someone’s life!

Another cup of coffee was required…if it was nighttime, an apple cider or something stronger!! Grrrrrrrr

One bonus of bike packing is that it does not take long to pack up so I was on the road around 9.30am, and I followed the bay along to the turnoff the the Peninsula.

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Nice ride up the peninsula, with that ever present headwind accompanying me.  Not a lot to see on the way in.

I headed down to Tokerau Beach for a gander. The sign indicates that the beach is also a road.

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Plenty of tyre tracks

Plenty of tyres on the beach too, filled with cement, as well as an old refrigerator, filled with cement. I guess they were part of bank retention at some point, but had washed away.

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Motorbikes were racing up and down the beach..teenage boys not at school, but enjoying themselves with a bit of speed.

I then cruised up the road a bit further and found a loo with a view.

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Rates well in my top 10 loos with views!

Steep pinch of a short climb took me back to the main internal road, and I headed to the famous Matai beach. I went last a very swanky looking Carrington resort, promoting food…but I am sure I would not be acceptable in my very nice Rapha gear!

So on I road, and found this vineyard offering food. I looked at the driveway and thought, hmm, umm…

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Heaps steeper than it looks…remember photos never show true gradients.

I knew rain was forecast and I decided to press on to Matai Beach and return here to ‘kill time’ upon my way back.

Over the road from the vineyard was a lovely vista, overlooking the golf course and out to the bay.

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A few more km along the road and I hit gravel….lots of corrogation, pot holes and drifts of thick blue stone. My bike does not handle gravel well at the moment with the handle bar bag weight altering steering and control somewhat.  Not only that, but most of my falls, historically,  have been on gravel. So I walked over the corrugated sections, and started riding very slowly the rest of the way in.  I have enough knee scars currently!

Matai Beach is lovely, secluded and today, fairly quiet, with only one young family, and two snorkellers present.

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I spent a very lazy hour at Matai before heading back for some lunch at the vineyard. Brilliant views, great food!

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I spent nearly two hours killing time here, the weather was closing in a bit, and I decided to make tracks to my accomodation which was available from 3 pm…but I knew I was going to be there by 2.30pm, hoping they did not mind.

I am in a beautiful home overlooking the waters towards Houhora. These views are from my bedroom!

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The hosts very kindly invited me to join them for dinner, which I was most appreciative for given the seclusion of where i was. Freshly caught fish in a yummy homemade curry.

I am going to need to be evicted by force tomorrow, particularly given rain is forecast! Technically an easy day as I head to Houhora, in preparation for a long day on Saturday to the Cape and back.

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