So l arrived at the station in time to catch the 6.32 south. Too bad l hadn't allowed for my technical incompetence. The ticket Machine just wouldn't work for me until the 6.32 had been and gone. Never mind I was ready for the 6.48. Arrived at Papakura busting for a pee. Heading to the only obvious public toilet l was collared by a cyclist entranced by my trailer ( which had a fantastic day thanks Malcolm). Seems my new buddy was building a bike trailer out an old Honda scooter. While talking to this guy l was beaten to the loo by a young local who spent a very long time behind locked doors. Too long for me. Problem is that in such heavily populated areas a quick dash behind a bush is not as easy as on the back roads l have been travelling recently. Took a while and a hill climb before relief was found.
Didn't take long to reach Clevedon and the road towards Kawakawa Bay was pretty quiet after the hustle and bustle of the Auckland roads, and so close to the city. Best of all the predicted bad weather didn't arrive until sometime later.
Once again I am riding through some beautiful countryside with stunning views over the Hauraki Gulf and the Firth of Thames. What I can see to the west though is a major weather system coming my way. Get caught in a short shower before finding a small shop that sold me a fantastic hot chocolate and some delicious banana cake. Enjoyed both, sitting in the sun, talking to locals and watching the storm moving up the Coromandel. Great rest stop, slightly subdued by the puncture in my front tyre that had appeared as I rested.
Meet only the second cycle tourist of the trip a little later. Michael from the Czech Republic. He started his trip in Dunedin, 6 weeks ago and flies home on Monday.
The rest of the day saw several similar storms pass over. Just short of the new road bridge at Kopu with another storm front closing in, l had my second puncture of the day.... back wheel this time.
I am too slow, and the storm hits before I have it fixed.
Twenty minutes later I am in central Thames so arrange a press photographer, and the Mayor, and get some shots for the Prostate Cancer site, wearing Margaret's soon to be famous hats. A quick climb gets me to Les's place, where a warm shower and a great feed complete a great day. Approx 100km through a series of storms. On the news I see Hanmer and much of the South Island is being dumped on by snow. Think I chose the right place to do my winter training ride.
Personally, I feel my piece on TV the other morning was of much higher quality than the piece I saw on the news tonight, featuring another person from Hanmer.