We had a great night sleep in the Pumpkin Cabin and we were greeted with a very healthy green, fruity drink to start our day. Guy provided us with a very nutritious breakfast to set us in good stead for the day ahead.
It was nice to cruise down the 20 percent slope into Coromandel as we knew we would be climbing within a few km. Here is today’s climbing chart.
All the longer climbs had 15 percent pinches, but the third climb was all 15%…carrying our gear certainly not easy going.
One the first climb ( the biggest for the day), we rode past a very heavily laden cyclist, baring twin flags ( New Zealand and Taiwan), radio blaring. Tony went by first and said ‘hi’ and the poor cyclist must have been startled and ended up in the middle of the road, swerving and zig zagging…..he was hard to pass.
Once again, we we’re blessed with brilliant views on the ride today. The Coromandel region certainly is very beautiful.
Back at sea level, the beaches were improving.
We even caught a ferry today…chance for a breather. It cost $17 for this very short trip ( $7 per adult, $1.50 per bike). The water looked incredibly inviting.
We detoured off the main road to visit Haihai Beach. A very nice spot and maybe on another trip this could be an overnight spot, as a few km along the coast is Cathedral Rock, which looks pretty impressive…from the photos on billboards.
Tourists galore hang out here…there is a massive car park as you enter town to park your vehicle. Shuttle buses then run to the feature spots.
We did refuel with smoothies, icy poles, water and Whitaker’s Chocolate here as we could not find a shop,with anything more substantial not filled with the hordes. I still find Whitaker’s hard to open….must be a sublime message there 🤐
We were pretty keen not to stay too long in the village as we were melting…and had been all day. We were both sweating copiously. Tony told me I was ‘nearly as bad a Prickles!’ Prickles is a good friend and keen cyclist who has done plenty of cycle touring…and sweats a little!
We soldiered on stopping for more ‘made with real fruit’ icecream and some coconut water. I needed to stop a few times to stretch my back…giving me curry at the moment.
All in all the car drivers have not been too bad…until today. We had one lady unable to keep to her half when we were descending ( she was driving up). That certainly stirred up the adrenalin.
On a other climb there was a convoy of about 5 vehicles, seemingly racing. I do not think they like cyclists given their finger salutes! 😩🤷♀️
Here is today’s route…all over the place! There was wind…but never whilst climbing did we get a nice head wind breeze….all the climbs were fairly protected. It was stinking hot again. Many people say to me ‘ you are Australian, you should be used to it’. However I live in Tasmania, the coolest state in more ways than just temperature.
A hot day on the north west coast is 23-25 degrees. Today, with the exception of the first climb, the gauge showed mid to high 30’s. The bitumen was melting and created a sticky sound on the tyres. It is debilitating when not acclimatised, so we are hoping for some cooler weather ( but not rain….).
We are staying in nice accomodation in Whangamata ( pronounced Fonga Me Tah)…very hard to get a grip on the Maori language. Tomorrow we are heading to Matamata…( pronounced Matter matter) so why is Matamata not Me Tah Me Tah?
We had tea at the local RSL club. I got talking to the President, who had served for 20 years. He proudly showed me the last Anzac Day service picture, where the flags are brought ashore by surfers, and the horses then lead the march up. Pretty cool.
Apparently Whangamata has the best beach in New Zealand so we might check that out in the morning before another longer journey to Matamata…land of the hobbits.
So it’s Ooroo from me….I need to do some stretches on my back and then get some shut eye!