So we started our day by heading to town to restock with food and bicycle stuff. We headed to The Bike Shed, the coolest bike shop in town. We knew it was going to be good when we saw the Surely sign on the door. Andy was geeking out with the owner swapping bike stories and drooled over Doug’s new Krampus #BikePorn (this is now up there on Andy’s future bike list). If anyone is in Whanganui this shop is a must stop for tourers. They even gave us some delicious road treats for me to squirrel.
All geared up we headed to the iSite (tourists info) to get the low down on our route and pick up some maps. Backing on to the river with some nice shaded grass we figured it was as good a spot as any to have lunch.
Just before leaving, at gone 14:30 #LateAsAlways, we heard Kylie’s ‘Locomotion’ pumping out across the grass and Tim floated over with a Marley boom box come bag over one shoulder and a very ‘interesting’ playlist in his hand. After chatting for a bit and having a quick boogie we said our fair wells and got on the road.
Our first obstacle was Durie Hill, but luckily for us there was a well lit tunnel with an extremely old elevator to the end of it. In seconds we appeared in to the light at the top and had a fantastic view over the town.
From hear our route took us east 60km along lovely sealed backcountry roads to Huntersville, racing out new friends a large part of the way.
The road was dead and it felt like we could have been the only people in the world from the majority of it. The last few k’s turned out to be the steepest of the day and we were both relieved to make it to town. With no official camp ground Alex popped into the Motel come restaurant to see if they would let us pitch up in their garden. As luck would have it and in return for buying to many chips they kindly agreed and even offered us a shower!
The actions from Kaval is pure, but rare in this capitalist world but her warmth and genuine kindness will stay with us. After watching some skilful magic tricks from Justin and having a giggle with Kera we turned on for the night.