After our morning dip in the thermally heated lake we head back up the mammoth ascend from yesterday.
Half on gravel roads and half paved when we reached the top all I was praying for was no more of this terrain. The contrast from coming off a road so busy its unsafe to ride to not seeing a car at all. This is probably because they decided not to bother paving the road or didn’t pave it because its not used either way gravel roads suck (on my loaded Surly Long Haul Trucker with only 1.35 rubber anyway)!!
We were almost totally out of water and were surviving on our hydration pack which tastes rank!! The town we stopped in had no services so I collared the first person that I saw in their drive and politely asked for some water. It turned out Tony was actually one of the boaters from the previous evening (such a small world).
After a grueling 20 miles on mainly gravel roads, one fall and many grumbles we hit the Waikato River Trail. Then the day took a turn for the better though the mountain bike trails take forever to get anywhere it doesn’t matter because they are so awesome!
Due to no services we resorted to ants on logs!!
On our last leg when motivation was running low we crossed the path of these two liberating tourer’s. Paul and Lisa were cycling from Coromandel back to their home in Wellington. They were taking mostly trail and stopping with family and friends along the way, but wait for it…Lisa was 5 month pregnant, crazy cool!!
We ended in a chilled campsite in Mangakino tired and famished. Fortunately the Bus Stop Cafe was still open and ready for business so after three portions of chips and a vegan pizza we set up camp. What we didn’t realize was that we would be here for three nights.