As predicted, rain came in the night. Lots of rain. It was still raining when we got up, and when we had breakfast. However we had already agreed that we would cycle in the rain, so we carried out that plan. Fortunately there was a small break in the weather that gave us enough chance to dry of the tent (ie. wipe over with a J-cloth) and pack it up. Then it carried on raining.
Mind you, we did pretty well on the whole. There were small showers, on and off, for the first 30 miles or so, but nothing that soaked us. We kept stopping and putting on, or taking off, our waterproof jackets, but it was quite warm and it wasn't comfortable cycling in them.
The wind was probably light to moderate, and I spent as much time as I could sheltering behind Nick.
We got into Te Puke (home of the Kiwi Fruit) sooner than I anticipated (it wasn't earlier, it just seemed it...time flies, I guess :o)
Then, the heavens opened. I mean dark, heavy skies with thick, heavy rain drops that soaked you in a few seconds. Also, after 40 miles of pretty flat, or slightly undulating, terrain, suddenly hills. How can one town have so many hills? Everything on the bike seemed heavier, slower. For about 10 minutes it was fun, then it was horrid and quite scary because there are a lot of big trucks on that road.
Still, we pressed on in the knowledge we knew where we were going, and eventually we stumbled across the Top 10 Papamoa campsite, right on the beach at Papamoa. And even in the rain, it was a beauty. We had a few moments agreeing on the best, drenched spot for the tent, and then retired to the large marquee-like dining area which has 5 large, hexagonal picnic tables and is attached to the communal kitchen. It gave us enough room to settle ourselves and all our gear. In another lull in the weather, we put the tent up, and then content with that, went back to the kitchen to plan dinner.
We were welcomed in the kitchen by Norm and Kristy, a couple from South Georgia who were hosting a group of 7 'youths' on a sort of outward bounds course. Apart from being a lovely, friendly couple, they also very generously offered to drive Nick over to the supermarket – which was anyway pretty close – so he could buy dinner. We took them up on that offer, and on the loan of a couple of pans, so Nick could make Spag Bol. As if that weren't enough, they also shared their apple and peach crumble with us after dinner.
We welcomed their generosity, as we did the lovely, modern, hot showers. With the rain drumming on the tent and the ocean roaring about 50 meters away, I have no doubt we will sleep well tonight!