So we left in traditional Cuppleson time at roughly around 11am. It’s so hard to leave a holiday park especially when they are as nice as this. swing ball, scrabble and sauna, nuf said!!
We needed to restock on a few bits before hitting the North outback. As I was paying for our items in the 4square when the kind cashier told me the card had been declined, holy smokes we had minimal food and were almost out of cash. After a bit of a rigmarole outside the iSite (free wifi #lifesaver) it was resolved and we were on our way with a few Queen Elizabeths in our pocket.
As we left the idilic Coromandel township we passed the pottery/railway (Driving Creek Railway) everyone has been raving about. We are going to stop here on our way back otherwise we shall never get on the road, it was already noon.
We started the ascent back over the mountain range we passed yesterday towards the east coast of the Coromandel. She was steep, but a good gradient. The road was smooth and tarmac and I couldn’t understand why it was marked as gravel on the map.
Then we hit the gravel, well more actually well compacted dirt.
The downhill was just not the same, no satisfying thrill just on the breaks for dear life hoping my wheel doesn’t skid out from under me.
I even had to get down in the drops to get some form of leverage.
When the road levelled out it took us through a bowl of lakes and wetland which was a new sight for us. We were surrounded by mountains in a very remote settings, only a few maroi houses and this Snow White beautiful bird for company.
After buying some fruit & veg from a certified organic stall we stopped for lunch in a small bay with an angry sea with the waves crashing you could feel a storm was brewing. Just as we left it started to spit.
As we got back on the road the compact dirt had turned to slushy mud. This climb was also a absolute monster I was in my lowest gear and Andy was even zigzagging his way up. Super steep and went on forever, ashamed to say it but this hill broke me #FirstTearsOfTheTour.
We stopped at the next DOC campsite which fortunately wasn’t to much further and she was a beauty. We even got an out door shower and our own personal rope swing. Met a sociable American called Lewis who was lovely and we spent the evening sharing stories of our travels. I have literally never met a American I don’t like.
Good end to a tough day 800+ metres of climbing in only 30km of riding, we will put the strava stats on when we can.