Penultimate eve

I often start to feel a little melancholy near the end of a tour…pleased that I am close to achieving the target destination, but sad that it is coming to an end, and life must return to a different version of normal.

After eating my breakfast and packing my gear it was farewell to the farm stay.

The view from the farm looking north towards Dargaville

The first 30 km was relatively flat. I started with no wind! However, that was short lived!

I had decided to stop and stretch my back every 10-15 km today, regardless of whether it was in spasm. That worked really well as I did not have nearly as much pain, nor did I consume anywhere near the number of painkillers today.

First back stretch stop view

I was going to be on the State Highway 12 then State Highway 1 all day, with fast traffic whizzing past. I had three close calls today…only four for the trip,  but three in one day! EEEEK.

My first close call was just before Ruawai, so decided I NEEDED a coffee, as it was too early for anything stronger. Upon departing the bakery, it has started to drizzle, and within a few km I was getting wet!

The rain would hit me three times like that during today’s ride…fortunately it never lasted longer than 10 minutes or so.

From Riawai I turned in an easterly direction, as I needed leave the west coast of North Island and align myself with the east coast as I headed towards the final destination of Auckland.

There were a number of hills to climb and descend from the 35 km point, as well as passing through a number of small towns. Some views.



I should have considered stopping at Maungaturoto as had some nice looking cafes, but thought I’d hold out for the next town of Bryan’s…..

This caught my eye above a shop in Maungaturoto.


Arriving at the ‘town’ of Bryan…. I was disappointed. All that was there was a highway T junction and a closed down business for sale.

Missing a bike? Might be here…buy the business and look at all the junk you get!

I was now heading south, and I rode through Kaiwaka, and I am pretty sure this house can be found there…and yes, I am pretty sure it is a house, as there were no signs  up indicating it was a pre school, crèche or similar.

Noah’s Ark?

I was keen to get to get to Wellsford as I had passed through there on my first day, having stopped at the Blue Cat. I was hoping they would still be open as I knew they made a great iced coffee!

Looking east about 5 km before Wellsford

I loved the entrance display to Wellsford, I had to stop.

Don’t forget the market on Saturday!

Yes, the cafe was open, and yes I enjoyed my iced coffee and real fruit icecream….

I was only 7 km from my accomodation so I dilly dallied for as long as possible ( ie. the cafe was closing!).

Leaving Wellsford, I noted that there was another welcome display, but this time, with pigs.

I would not mind one of these, but I might look a bit conspicuous with one strapped to my back, and then, if I fell it would not be pretty!


At the bottom of the hill I turned right into a country lane, and groan, it is loose gravel.

Now I have done well so far.. every tour I have at least one fall..I like to collect scars as momentous of my trips. if possible, I then like to scar that scar…mostly fallen on loose gravel as a result of braking…

So when I said I groaned, I really did! It was uphill, loose with larger drifts. At the top of the first hill a car coming the other way stopped, and the guy asked if I was Sharron…yep…he was the accomodation owner…he told me I had the wrong tyres for this road…ooh yeah, I knew it too…

Very slowly and judiciously I worked my way up and down the gravel arriving at Barry’s with about 99.6 km on my Garmin…would I do another 400m to even it off at 100 km? Nah..could not be stuffed!

That’s my room
Boris the pheasant, and three hens rescued from a battery farm

So, the last night….what will tomorrow bring?


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