Slow slog of a sloth

I want to start with a post script to yesterday’s blog (Saturday), entitled “Spirits have flown” … kind of ominous, as I have just been informed of the sudden death of a wonderful colleague and friend Linda…much loved and respected.

We gave each other a big hug before I went on leave…I’m glad as I will never get to do that again…

She had been ill but her death was still unexpected and I am truly shocked and upset. She was very strong and resilient and  would expect us to march on.

So when I was at the Cape, where the spirits leave, she passed away…may she Rest In Peace, now free of pain,  and her spirit soar.


I woke early due to the sound of wind…oh no, groan, moan…rollover, pull the sheet over my shoulder, lie on the left ear…just maybe the sound will go away.

I have lost most of my hearing in my right ear (conductive loss), so if I lie on my left ear life can be quiet.

Yes, that’s better!

Unfortunately when I got up it was howling. Back to looking at the weather forecasts. I even half pondered about staying in Houhora another night as I have some spare days later. However the B and B was fully booked for Sunday night.


The little video does not really do justice as to wind strength, but on a bike, wind can be enemy.

I found my cement pills, took a handful, said my goodbyes and off I headed.

It was a slow slog out to Awanui (31km) with the strong gusty easterly wind battering me and pushing me out towards the middle section of the road. Thank goodness most traffic was heading in, rather than out.

I loved it when I came to sections with bamboo to my left as it provided wonderful wind protection, at least for short sections at a time.


I planned to stop at the Kauri shop at Awanui as I desperately needed a coffee.  I felt really tired, heavy eyes.

The lady that served me asked me where I was riding to, and she was a bit surprised, so much so, she gave me a coffee on the house!! Here is my favourite barista!


I also wanted to buy a carved bone souvernir. I saw it when I stopped in two days earlier, but had mixed feelings given I have to carry it. But I bought it anyway.

The symbol in Maori represents ‘leadership’

Kaitaia and Ahipara were the next two towns, but I decided to re route to save 5 km.

The rest of the days ride was through a mixture of farmland and heavily vegetated areas, with a bunch of hills thrown in for good measure.

Each of the climbs seemed to be into one case the gusts were so strong, and the 14 percent gradient had me do a quick decleat as I was worried about losing my balance. So I am not too proud to ad it I walked about 300metres then, as I was unable to recleat.

So here are some of the pictures I took as I stopped to rest my aching back.



I was actually descending when I noticed this place. Check out the chainsaw.


Broadwood was a place I thought I might have a break at. However, it is like a ghost town. This statue was about the most happening thing.


So instead I stopped at this bridge to demolish a choc chip cookie I had bought back in Awanui,


Climbing up the last climb of the day there were some nice views.



I was really knackered today. Two days of strong winds were taking their toll on me. Fortunately the last 10km gave me some reprieve as finally I was out of the headwind.

I stopped at Kohukohu briefly to grab a drink and icy pole and it had started drizzling. Stuff that I thought, as the ferry was only 4 km or so away.

So icypole in one hand I darted off to the ferry, where I got my first lucky break of the day! It was about to leave but I had just made it!

What a bargain! $2…..



I am spending tonight in Rawene, at a B and B owned by Blair. He cooked me tea, and wait for it, he is a chef! We had a great chat about life in general and I can’t wait for his cooked breakfast!

I am comprehensively stuffed! It has been a tough couple of days both physically and emotionally as a result of two tough days on the bike being hampered by such strong wind. My back is playing up, I think because I am holding on too tightly in the winds.

Tomorrow is a tough one on paper being 110 km and 1558 metres climbing. I am told the forecast is for more wind!

C’est le vie!



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