Sunday, June 24, 2007
I'm still recovering from our weekend mission to Whanarua Bay and more particularly the Maraehako Backpackers Retreat. This place is located on the Bay of Plenty side of the east cape and its about the same distance to drive via Ruatoria or Opotiki, we chose the former as we are thoroughly sick of the Gizzy-Opotiki Rd. But it is a long windy rd round the cape. And not that much to see, I think we regretted not stopping to photograph the mandarin eating pig, so we made the most of the stormy church. The backpackers is a real oasis, right down by the sea mingling with pohutukawas. It has been built over time from the bones of a seaside bach and fits the environment perfectly, lots of great decks and places to lounge around as well as a fireplace and spa pool. We had a real nice relaxing time...then there was the drive back...
Hey, a couple of weeks ago we went across to Whakatane for me to meet up with friends and for me to do the Montys Revenge. Montys is a short multisport race...run, bike, kayak, of about 4.5 hours. We had a great weekend, seeing people we hadn't seen in a while and hanging around in the bay of plenty sun while it rained in gizzy. My race ended a bit disappointingly when I ran out of puff in the kayak and slipped from 6th to 11th with the end in sight...but I had agood run and bike, so nothing a little training can't fix. On the way back we took the Motu road which I had only travelled previously a few years ago by bike, awesome windy bush road. We stopped off for a long run at the Pakihi track, a long benched track through bush descending towards the Opotiki side, nice & wet!
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
And this ones from a wee bit back we thought we'd go and check out Hikurangi the highest mountain on the east cape...in fact the highest from miles. Really pleasantly surprised at the mountainous feel to the country, complete with typical subalpine plants such as dracophyllum and spaniards near the top, made us feel at home. The whole face of the mountian was felled under govt land clearance schemes in I think the 1920's there are still logs and standing deadwood where forest used to be. The Ngati Porou statues erected for the millenium, imitate this tragedy, and in there presence is a seriously cool place to be for sunrise
Monday, June 11, 2007
Penny decided it was a time for a bike adventure so we cruised over to Whirinaki, meeting Brent on the way in Murupara. This has to be the remotest specially made mtb track in NZ...and one of the best. It was awesome. Primo singletrack riding in big native forest. We then headed over to Rotorua via the unique Minginui, which needs a few coats of paint and some dog kennels. We stayed with Brent and it was great to catch up with what went down at the Adventure Racing Worlds this year, his team finished 3rd which is awesome. Sunday we went for a kayak from the stream beside Brents place down into Lake Rotorua. Really cool perspective of the old buildings and tourist attractions that line the lakes edge, lots of thermal features, which gave Penny the heebie jeebies a bit in the kayak and masses of birds...really nice After a bit of sifting round town we took off home via the eastern okataina walkway, which is really nice, rolling singletrack through native forest.