After a visit to the Whakatane headlands, and seeing some dodgey going ons in the headland car park, I made a run for a nice warm cafe.... The Bean. Yummy hot chocolate, and a guy wearing some very nice Krank gear. Seems he is a keen cyclist who has toured, and really rates the Krank Dirtwear gear, as do I.
Local advise has been to take the slightly longer route through Taneatua, Tamara Itis territory, rather than over the Ohope hill. Didn't see him at his normal tea stop, and enjoyed the gorge and rolling ride more than grinding up a huge hill, although it was really nice to finally get out of the shade of the hill and into the sun.
Fantastic to hit the coast at Waiotahi. Very
beautiful. Calm seas, lots of sun, no people, and fantastic views, and a picnic table to sit at and have a nosh. Here I met a retired farmer from the Lake Coleridge area, touring in his camper van, taking the opportunity of the great East Coast weather to explore our beautiful country.
A short ride along the coast into Opotiki where I meet John at Motu Trails. These guys are hiring bikes and doing shuttles for anyone who wants to ride the Motu Trails, and are going to join me tomorrow as we ride up the trail. I'm staying at John and Ngaios at Opape, so John and I ride the Dunes Trail to get home, and what a delight. Great surface, rolling trail through the sand hills, with wonderful views over the Bay, a great ride of 10km for the whole family. Contact the team at Motu Trails for advise, shuttles, bike hire and great conversation. John is a wealth of knowledge about local history. One story he told me was of an ancient mass killing, which has stalled building of part of the dunes trail. Another story was about land allocations to soldiers and what happened to local Maori landowners. Want the whole story.... talk to John.
Really looking forward to tomorrow's ride on this new addition to the Cycleway Network. I'm
informed that there is a 7km uphill stretch. Will I keep up with the boys who are biking without trailers, and will the morning tea at Bills place be as good as its been built up to be? Let you know tomorrow.