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North Island Roadie, Whangamomona

New Plymouth to Whangamomona

semi-overcast
View North Island Roadie on Sallyj66's travel map.

20th May Thursday
OMG what a difference a day makes

An early start to the day. We had checked with reception and they were ok with us leaving late after a bike ride.The coastal ride is fantastic and we were treated to a brief view of Mt Taranaki just as we were crossing the Te Rewa Rewa Bridge. large_IMG_5798.JPGlarge_IMG_5794.jpglarge_8601e170-b9ed-11eb-8372-fbefc2149049.jpg
I think it is nothing short of genius and very photogenic. Biked back towards town to see other points of interest. One being the Len Lye wind wand. Unfortunately it is away being repaired, some idiot swinging from it and breaking it.
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The track is very busy with strollers, bikers,, runners all using this fabulous amenity. Found a cafe that was ok with Maddie being there and had a wonderful breakfast and coffee which I was very ready for.
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Once the bikes were loaded again we made a decision to travel to Opunake i.e. follow the coast south and then go to Stratford and maybe onto Whangamomona on the Forgotten Highway. Ok so that road is named as the Surfers Highway which seems quite a stretch. We could see the sea in the distance but not even discernible surf. Regardless it is such lush green scenery that it was pleasant. Called in at Cape Egmont Lighthouse and then turned in at Parihaka. Strange topography here, the ground is lumpy with discrete bumps/mounds and not sure what that is about.
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I noticed on the atlas that Hollard Gardens were very close so made a detour.
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These are another of a free entry garden and fantastic. I think it is Bernie Hollard who developed his personal paradise and its now in a Trust for all to enjoy. There were a couple of buses from “Green” Schools there at the same time enjoying the educational centre. When we left got a very awesome treat of seeing the Mt emerge from behind the clouds for brief moment.

3000km!

Then onto Stratford and enroute on the Forgotten World Highway. Our intention was to make Whangomomona and then if we still felt alright go the next day to Taumarunui. Anyway famous last words. Drove over the Strathmore Saddles, Pohokura and lastly Whangamomona Saddle. Amazing road with incredible switchbacks and native bush. Took us 1 and a half hours of quiet driving. Also logging trucks but not troublesome. Arrived in W to go to Campground, Had some debate about whether to walk back to the pub or take the van. As it was approaching dark decided we’d use the van. And then it happened! A flat tyre-omg what now?
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We were very flustered and trying to use the panda kit which is not immediately obvious how to use. A couple came from the camp-turns out he is from Blenheim originally. Well we got enough air in the tyre to get us back to the pub and to a land line phone as no cell phone coverage. Then all and sundry came out with their expert opinions and how and what we should do. I retreated inside with the other women and kept a safe distance. Eventually one fellow had more practical experience than some of the others. A phone call was made to Stratford and our plan was to get enough air in the tyre to get us back to camp for the night and a sleep. Then in the morning Plan B.

Neither of us had any appetite at this stage.

Posted by Sallyj66 04:29 Archived in New Zealand

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