Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Day 4 - Taupo to Kinlock and Back On/Off/On/Off/On Road

First, a big thank you to those who've commented via FB, sent private emails, and who are on Twitter. Your messages are fun to receive and we appreciate them! It's odd, with all of this time to do nothing but ride, how little time (and energy) is left over. To reply to a few questions/comments: yes, it's front page news every day here because William, Kate, and their baby are visiting NZ. No, Mom, I don't feel any stronger, but once we recover from this, we will be! The food has been very tasty, though we haven't had anything that is particularly Maorian or New Zealand specific. The kiwi fruit we bought at the store are tasty and very juicy, but the meat is almost white inside. The butter is really, really good. Breakfast is international style so porridge (oatmeal), cereal, yogurt, juice, cheese, etc. All-you-can-eat is appropriate, no one could possibly serve a large-enough breakfast for our appetites!

Here's what it looks like when we're crammed in the elevator coming and going.

Today (Tuesday) meant riding from Taupo up to Huka Falls (where we'd had a night ride on the second day), and then up roads that led us to a mountain bike trail, but not just any trail.

I'd shown a photo of Huka Falls at night; getting back here during the daytime was cool. We rode some of the same trails that I was gushing about a few posts ago. The trails were still really fun, though on a "fun" scale, I think night riding is just a little cooler than daytime riding. We saw people on the trail, and considering how tight they are, it's much better to be there when there isn't a chance of being there with others. Seeing the place during the day added a much different perspective. The scenery and water are so beautiful, it was nice to see that part of it, too.

Our bikes overlooking the bright blue water of the raging Huka Falls. Tourists were all over this area...how odd to have other people around.

After the falls, we rode to a very large building that was full of bee products. This was a very large bee sculpture hanging from the ceiling. I had some honey-based ice cream which was quite delicious.

 It was warm enough out that the ice cream tasted very good. (First ice cream this year for me, I believe.)

While we were there, it started raining. For a moment, it was a downpour. We put on rain jackets and hit the road. At first, we were wondering if it would make sense to ride to the long trail we had been looking forward to riding. Very quickly we realized that the rain wouldn't negatively impact the day at all - it was a light drizzle and warm so no problem at all. We were on the road for 19 miles to the start of the trail.

The terrain was serene, sparsely populated, and there weren't too many cars.

The entrance to the Great Lake Trail isn't much to look at. One moment into the gates, a whole new world opens up. In the US, I feel that mountain bikes are tolerated or allowed on some trails. Here, trails are designed and specifically designated for mountain bikes. This is the best trail I've ever been on. 16kms of fairy tale mountain biking...er...Evergreen riding is even better!

The rain made the soft, very fine sand slightly tacky and there aren't enough leaves on the ground to be slick. Ideal riding conditions.


The road back to town was loooong and there was a lot of climbing. After the trails, I was tired and out of energy. The road portion leading back to Taupo didn't seem like it would ever end. This view of the lights was all I needed to be able to keep going.

We were out there over 8 hours, rode for over 6 1/2 hours and traveled 90 kms. Another great day! Not sure if I will be able to move tomorrow...

1 comment:

  1. I love the flow of your days - late starts and long days stretching into the nights. Good thing you have such good lighting but then you know yourselves.