From the time we got on our bikes the scenery was just stunning. Yes We. Today I was joined by the Motu Trails team, John and Digger on bikes, with John and Susan riding shotgun in the company van. Great having locals riding with me, so many interesting stories, advice on how long the hills are, where the views are, and even a side trip down into a culvert, dug out by hand through solid rock.
Yep, the trail climbs, but through stunning native bush, and then through amazing high Country farms and valleys. Bob turned on a lovely morning tea, plus showed us lots of photos of the District. There was once a Post Office, Telephone Exchange, and Cheese Factory in the valley. Now Bob is one of only half a dozen residents. We came across a flotilla of piglets, probably 20 or more, blocking the road, and had to shift them to allow the herd of cows along the road, before we were able to continue, and we must have seen four vehicles all day.....
The Motu trail is a MUST DO, and if you don't like uphill, get hold of Ngaio and John at Motu Trails and they can help with a shuttle to the top. Trouble with that is then you have to make a choice between the road and the fabulous single track, so will probably have to do the trip twice. Motu Trails also offer accommodation, and they are extremely knowledgeable about everything local. I repeat: the Motu Trails is a must, the best Cycleway that I have ridden by far. Go and ride it soon.
The downhill to Motu is awesome, for those who choose to do the whole route, and the last 14km to Matawai flat and fast. And the cafe in Matawai, the Hard Drive, does great coffee and hot chocolates. Not so sure about the pub. Normally offers meals and accommodation, but tonight, even though advertising opening at 5pm, hadn't done so at 6.30. That's when I decided it was time to put up the tent, first night freedom camping, behind the sports pavilion. I was asleep by 7pm, tucked up and cosy in my sleeping bag.