|Depart Te Araroa: 777 km (07.00)
Well we made it through the night! Actually the highlight of the night was undoubtedly the wind. Very, very windy. It's a bit scary being under trees when it is windy and you're sleeping 6 inches from the roof of your cab, but that's as bad as it got.
Nick made bacon and eggs for tea and we were once again in bed by 8, and once again awake at the crack of dawn. Nick was again waiting for the sunrise, and again he wasn't disappointed. The day dawned clear and cold as previous mornings. In fact the weather has been lovely all day today – clear blue skies without a cloud in sight. It's been windy, but that's our only complaint. Out of the wind it's really warm – hot, actually.
We had a very early breakfast and slipped out of the park at 07.00 before anyone else had emerged.
The drive from Te Araroa to Gisborne was, quite frankly, a nightmare. The roads continued as yesterday, windy, some very steep, but the surface absolutely shocking. As I've said previously, the only saving grace is that there is not much traffic so not too many people have to suffer watching me break suddenly, swerve all over the road and then rev the hell out of the poor van as I struggle to get it up a hill. The whole vehicle rattles like anything as well. It's funny, but it's hard work.
We did just under 200km today, so another long day in the saddle, although we did do it in good time in the end, pulling into Gisborne at 12.30 – and that with a tourist stop of at Tolago Bay to walk along the wharf/jetty/pier that is 600m long. It was a bit knackered actually with railings completely gone in loads of places. There was nothing touristy about it really. There were 2 other couples there when we arrived but we were alone on it for about 15 minutes. Mind you, at least it had a sign pointing it out, which a lot of the 'tourist attractions' don't seem to have.
Cook's Walk, a 3km walk up a steep hill just behind Tolago Bay (where Cook first set foot) was closed because it is lambing season...there are lots of really cute little ones around :o)
When we got into town, we stopped to find a bank and, as we happened to pass a liquor store, stocked up on some local vino. Then we found our motor home park (that we had picked from a map because of its beachside location) and had a chicken sandwich lunch. The park is great. Again we are right on the beach – although this time we are fenced in (or they are fenced out).
We took a quick meander on the beach, then took to our bikes and cycled a couple of miles along the coast in the sunshine. When we got back we cycled through town to see if it was worth a foot-visit. Although it looked appealing – the same two storey 1950's style store fronts for a few blocks, actually there wasn't really anything there that meant a foot visit was worthwhile. So we went back to the camper and I did some washing while Nick decided to try out his new wet suit in the freezing sea...apparently it worked, at least in the parts covered by the wetsuit, but I know his arms and feet were still freezing. After lovely showers, Nick made pasta for dinner and we struggled into bed around 8 again.