Te Puia, Rotorua

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Day 120
December 13, 2012
We sleep in, although we vaguely hear voices yelling and doors banging in the distance. On waking we discover that the youth hostel is deserted and empty. We barely get the bed stripped and our stuff packed up by check out time. [Read more…]

Matamata

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Day 119
December 12, 2012
It rained during the night and at breakfast we look out the window at a dark, threatening sky. There is a bowl of lemons on the table in the kitchen, from the tree in the garden, and we have a few warm lemonades for breakfast, hoping to ward off the horrid cough the Australian woman is suffering from. [Read more…]

Te Ahoha

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Day 118
December 11, 2012
After two restful nights in Oupetere, we get back on our bikes again, taking the ‘short cut’ around Whangamata recommended by our hostel parents. We’re experienced enough to know that advice from drivers is rarely advantageous for cyclists, and yet, again and again, react like we don’t know this. Drivers rarely know anything about the typography of their own hometowns, because going uphill in a car means little more than pressing down a bit harder on the gas pedal. [Read more…]

Youth Hostel at Opoutere

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Day 117
December 10, 2012
Camping on the beautiful lawn outside the Youth Hostel under a kauri tree is both exotic and relaxing, so we stay on for another day. Our hostel father, an aged, rugged surfer, drives us into town so we can buy some food. We pass Vanessa and Evan on their way to Waihi. Christof rolls down his window and with trademark irony sings:
– It’s a long way to Tipperary, it’s a long long way from home. . .
They wave, surely motivated and empowered by the bard’s encouraging song.  [Read more…]

The Coromandel

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Day 116
December 9, 2012
We allow ourselves the luxury of a long relaxed breakfast, not rushing to pack up. It’s 10:00 by the time we get on the road. What a perfect day to be riding through juicy, flower- filled meadows surrounded by mountains. Everything is exotic and new and we’re full of fresh untarnished energy and the type of enthusiasm we haven’t felt since our carefree childhood days. With a blue-skied dome above and a day of adventures ahead of us, our pulses hop with joy. [Read more…]