I spent 4 days riding my bike and camping around the Waikato region and you can see my SPOT progress here. I forgot to turn it on the first day and I'm new to the site so I believe they disappear after 7 days. So I packed up on mid Friday morning and headed out after lunch on my disc trucker to do some cyclecamping. My intentions were to go South to Matamata and then cut West to Raglan, but realized after closer inspection of my map that I would be on busy highways most of the way to Raglan. Not so much fun, so I deviated and went further South to the Waikato River Trail instead. I didn't get to ride much of it as it is designated an advanced mountain bike trail with lots of switchbacks and lung searing ascents. Instead I poked around on country roads and enjoyed nature. I talked to several guys who just got done doing the majority of the trail and they said not to attempt it with my current set-up. I'll have to come back down with my mountain bike and blitz the trail to make up for lost time.
|Hauraki Rail Trail|
|A place Skog and I scaled while he was visiting.|
The 2nd day I went from Matamata to the first leg of the Waikato River Trail in Arapuni then took country roads to Putaruru. From there I was going to head down to Tokoroa, but my guide said there were only hotels there. So I headed back North along Hw1 to Tirua where there is supposed to be a backpackers but I learned from the ladies at the iSite that there is a campground in Okoroire just 6km away. I did the short little peddle out there and was pleasantly surprised with the sweet spot that I set up in. I also came across 2 other cycle tourers camping from Rotorua who just spent the last couple days doing the Bay of Plenty. We talked about different trails and bike set ups. It was recommended that I do the East Cape, so Tauranga to Gisborne in the near future.
|A quick turn off of Hw1.|
|Some of the Waikato River Trail|
|Yes that is a giant slide.|
|The place I crashed in Okoroire.|
|My humble set-up to sleep. I didn't have my pillow out yet.|
Day 4 started early again as I had some weird dreams. I do advocate reading the Felix Castor books, but as they deal with the dead (ghosts, zombies, geists, and were-things) you might have some vivid dreams. I know I did. So I was out making breakfast of spaghetti and tuna for breakfast and then setting off for the final 60km of gravel trail. It was a very humid morning and it didn't take any effort to break into a sweat. I only overtook 4 people on my way back and a couple ladies asked where my accent was from. I slowed down and talked to them for a couple kms and then parted ways. I saw plenty of people just outside of Thames as I waited for them to cross the bridge and then for a family to get organized in the middle of the path. I slowed down and deftly maneuvered between kids and downed bikes. I got back before noon and had a bite to eat at a local cafe where I finished the last 20 pages of my book before summoning the energy to ride up the hill to the current house. My legs were a bit sore and not looking forward to the steady climb. After cleaning my bike and doing my laundry, I had to head back down the hill to the grocery store. Ugh my legs are tight and a swim in the morning will probably do them well.
|Tauranga is on the other side of the Kaimai Mamaku Forest.|
Doing this just solidifies that I still want to do my tour. Just have to train Beth up and we can do it together. Save up a fair chunk of cash and set off in a couple years time? See what I can do.
|More places to explore.|
Camp Stove (didn't use)
Fuel (didn't use)
4 pairs of socks (2 unused)
2 pairs of padded shorts
2 pairs of shorts
2 wool t-shirts
1 tank top (didn't use)
1 long sleeve shirt
1 pair thermal pants
1 pair of gloves
1 bandana (didn't use)
3 cycle books/maps
1st aid kit
Next time things:
Sleeping pad (it is coming over with Beth)