We had decided to take a rest day at Tolaga Bay if we liked the campsite. We liked it a lot, so we did and our weary legs thanked us. We went into the radio station on the main street, Uawa FM. Nikora Curtis is the main man and he holds the World Record for the longest continuous broadcast. He was aiming for 200 hours, but a bit of a media scrum took place at 176 hours and he lost concentration. Tolaga Bay is a nice enough place and we tried to place it, to try and compare it with somewhere else. The best we could come up with are both fictional. The small town that was the heart of Northern Exposure with a bit of the heat of Lake Wobegon, in the books by Garrison Keillor, just about hit it.
We also took the time to do the walk to Cooks Bay and were stunned. He landed on 23rd Oct 1769. Now just think what was going on at the time. You are in the Barock era with music and Bach is filling the airwaves of the equivalent of Uawa FM. When you are picking men with ” The Right Stuff”, these had hit.
Be careful what you wish for. Well we wanted it a little cooler and yes it was. It was also raining very heavily overnight and continued the next morning. As luck would have it, when the rain eased at 11am we still had lots of time to make the short dash to Gisborne.
Again we were looking for comparison. This time for the road to Gisborne and we both hit on the A7 just South of Hawick in the Scottish Borders. Not remarkable, just very nice indeed. Few landscape photographers or artists will be drawn to the A7 for anything other than the fine cafe at Langholm. But it is nice and so is Highway 35 to Gisborne.
We had been invited to ” Stay a night and we will feed you, but I am not a very good cook”, with Alan and Anne, who we had met back at the Ford Transit Coffee place several hundred of kilometers back. We took them upon their kind offer and as luck would have it we liked both them and Gisborne a lot.
Laughter filled the evening as they are both as daft as they come. They have a house that is inviting but is something of a Black Hole for DIY energy and enthusiasm. We loved it, so thank you both so much.
The road out is now Highway 2 and we started to enter wine country. Quite gentle at first, we clocked up the first 30k faster than anywhere. A 500 meter climb up into The Wharerata Forest was accompanied by temperatures that were back into the thirties. We had both said that we were starting to find our biking legs, but this is a beast of a climb. Water ran low and we stood around at the top taking in the view and having a ponder. A Volvo full of kind souls offering an apple and drinks was the answer to our little problem. A good thing they helped out, as the blasted hill went down and then unexpectedly back up and again down quite a number of times after we thought we had completed the climb. Thanks again Volvo Guardians.
100k after we had said goodbye to Alan and Anne, we pitched our tent in Wairoa. We were told to expect a gangland war zone fueled by drug money, so expected the worst. It may still be that, but the campsite is nice and Esther has told me twice already that “the kitchen is fantastic”.