North then South Along the West Coast...

Well, after a decent sleep, albeit with a couple of times of waking… I really think the time zone change is the curlprit… I’m up for the day with coffee.  

The sun is shining and the wind has diminished to nothing.  I really do hope that these conditions hold for the rest of the day.  Driving in the wind and rain yesterday, even in the interior of the island really tooks its toll on me.  Today, after a quick jaunt up toward Cape Reniga I will head south along the west coast: Coopers Beach, Waipapa, Kerikeri, Paiha, Okiato, Whangaruru and likely end up in Whangarei for the night.

But before I set off let me say something of the external journey yesterday.

I left Mungaturoro via the Gorge Road toward Waipu.  The Gorge Road is gravel and follows a river most of the way through landscape that can be only described as prehistoric.  The trees and vegetation are such that I have never seen before – and realizing it is spring, I suspect that the vegetation is that much more lush and full during the height of summer!

Once on Hwy #1 I continued along the west coast and suspect that it was at Kawakawa that I made a “mistake” and turned kept on Hwy #1 instead of #11 which would have taken me along the coast.

At Okaihau I passed through the western edge of the Wairere Boulder field.  Howerver, it was raining too hard to stop and get a picture…

The landscape is hilly and green.  Very green and there are more cows and sheep than you can shake a stick at!!

Once past Mangamuka Bridge the road began to climb and I soon found myself on a road that, for turns per mile, matched the Tail of the Dragon in the USA as it traversed a mountain range while following a gorge.  Had the road been dry and it not been as windy I would have enjoyed the ride all that much more… as it was, the rain and wind and stress of the road had by this time caught up to me and it was time to stop.

At Kaitaia I found a room and set about drying out and making plans for the next day… followed by a walk through the downtown area, a stroll through the local grocery store where I picked up some supplies and then I settled in to watch some New Zealand television: rugby, a sitcom, the news or a still image of a handsome man on a ventilator… 5 channels… one way to keep the kids off the tv!

I’ll try and share some more this evening.  Its difficult as internet is not easy to come by here and when you do – there are significant limitations on usage.  For instance, in my room here last night I had 24 hours of use but was limited to 300MB of upload or download.  Well, by the time I uploaded my pictures I had used up all of the allotment…

On the Sabbath Road…


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