Waking to a dry and clear morning after the nights rain we packed up, leaving the tent to dry off while we tucked into a breakfast of jam sandwiches, tinned fruit and a couple of bruised bananas.
We said auf widersehen to a couple of young German guys we meet the night before, who actually eat even more than us at dinner with hand baked German bread (after 6 months on the road they were missing their mums cooking) and a huge pasta bake! We also had a good chat with a kiwi who had been coming to the Coromandel since childhood and now only works part time in order that she can spend more of her life exploring the country.
On the road and we were straight up a hill out of town. It was a long straight one with no bends so we could see the top, but it was a bit far just to power up.
The downhill had a few switchbacks to it and despite some good speed we were on the breaks for a lot of it.
As we started up the next longer climb a few spots of rain started hitting us and by the time we regrouped at the top it was starting to come down properly. Alex made the mistake of opening her handlebar bag in order to change tracks, the result of which was everything got wet and the lid itself filled up like a bucket.
This downhill was super fast and fun with speeds approaching 70kmph. I much prefer a windy ascent and a long straight descent as it definitely makes the most of the hill.
Here we took a right and turned North for a few km towards the small beachside town of Whangapoua for lunch.
We found a lovely spot on a an outstretched branch to rest. As Alex prepared more jam sandwiches I couldn’t help but have a go on the rope swing #NeverGrowingUp.
We planned to loop around the town and take an old mining road back to highway 25 and on to Coromandel township, but as we stopped by the only shop in the village we noticed there was a ‘Free Camping’ sign. As it turned out you had to be in a self contained vehicle, no surprise there, despite the fact the toiled were open 24/7. After Alex explained our situation to the owner of the shop, who happened to be a big time roadie, she took pity on us and hooked us up with a place to camp!