So here is my jumped out of bed photo for today…quite early, as I was a tad restless last night. Twinge of pink sky has me wondering.
I did not get away quite as early as planned, for no particular reason other than I was just fart assing around a bit. Even then , when I did hit the road, I found that my Garmin was only at 77 percent charge, I had packed the battery charger and left the cable behind! Great!! I discovered this 4 km down the road and was not turning back.
Today was to be a tough ride in that it was 136 km with 1750 metres of climbing. However, it started of well, and the air was fairly still. Not many cars on the road, and it was a pretty good road at that.
I stopped at a farm for a bit of a back stretch around the 35 km mark. It was a Maori run farm, complete with wild turkey out the front.
The road undulated and the climbs got bigger the closer I got to the cape. But the top of hills provided great opportunity for views and photographs.
The biggest climb of the day is the one to the cape….I became aware of a South Easterly breeze about 10 km out, hoping it would help me up the last hill. Here is my climbing graph. Lots of ups and downs…the big one in the middle is the climb up to the cape car park.
I was very pleased to arrive at the cape! As I went to walk down to lookouts and lighthouse I saw someone I recognised….Margaret, the mother of Fiona whom owns the B and B I am staying at! ( plus her husband and their friends from Iowa.
Whatsmore, the young German family I met at Matai Beach two,days earlier were there too!! Small world!
Margaret kindly took this photo.
I then walked the reasonably long walk down towards the lighthouse, pushing my bike as I was not willing to leave it all alone in such a busy carpark.
On the way down there was a young bush walker about to head off on an extended walk. We got chatting and he was a young lad from Israel who just finished three years compulsory military training and was having a gap year before University.
Interestingly his travels started in Siberia. After New Zealand he was off to Papue New Guinea. He kindly took a photo of me, as I then did for him too. He had a massive camera! I would hate to carry it!
As I continued walking down the path with my bike a number of people spoke to me congratulating me for riding up,the hills…guessed they had passed me in their vehicles.
At the lighthouse the camera got a good workout. This is the point that the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean. The cape is also where the Maori’s believe their spirits leave once they have died. As a sacred site, no food or drink is to be consumed to respect their beliefs.
I then walked back up and started my ride back to Houhora. What a horror that turned out to be with a headwind the entire 68km. Even on decent descents the bike did not go fast! It was seriously hard work.
I stopped at a cafe some 20km later for some lunch, really needing a break. Then it was back to toiling the wind…stopping again about 20 km short of Houhora at this spot.
I was physically and mentally fatigued..I had not much left in the tank to battle winds with, but needed to find some inner reserve.
I was very relieved to see Fiona’s sign for fruit icecream in 200 metres….I was so hoping she was still open! Great joy, YES! I enjoyed that icecream!!!
Now I am tuckered out, having been treated to a lovely home cooked meal!
Outside it is stormy with wild wind and rain. I have not yet looked st the forecast but hoping it blows out before morning, as I have another long day with about 110 km to be covered.
To all those sending me messages of support and encouragement I thank you so much. It certainly helps me particularly when physically and mentally fatigued. Xxxxxxx
3 thoughts on “Spirits have flown”
Another awesome day on the bike. So proud of you and what your achievements so far. 🚴💪❤️
You are amazing Sharron. Love travelling with you via your blog, and definitely not surprised that you have now realised what a strong woman you are – you always have been and should be taking credit for that. I am sure that anyone who knows you from a bit to a lot, will agree. Hope the weather holds for the ride back to Auckland (tempted to say downhill, but just looks that way on the map LOL).
Sharron, I have just been reading of your solo New Zealand adventure. What a amazingly strong woman you are! Several years ago we did a similar route with 4 friends in a vehicle and can not imagine how you could possibly achieve what you have. Most admirable! Congratulations and safe cycling for the remainder of your journey. xx