Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Southbound on Highway 2.

____ From Paeroa , it was eight kilometres down to the first bit of off-road riding: the old rail-road route through the Karangahake Gorge. It just started to rain as I entered a 1000 metre tunnel; but it didn’t keep me dry as water dripped down from the roof. Rain continued off and on all day. The track took me to Waihi and the Martha gold mine; a huge open pit right in the middle of the town. From then it was Highway 2 and spray from the trucks and cars until Katikati; home of the Sapphire Hot Mineral Springs and campground. Even though it was raining, it was good to relax in the hot pools but the place was really shabby and didn’t look like it had any money spent on it for thirty years.

 ____ A bright sunny start; which dried the tent, always a good thing when camping. Then more of the busy Highway 2; across the undulating land of the Bay of Plenty. Bay of Plenty of Kiwi-fruit orchards to the twin towns of Tauranga and Mount Maunganui. A container port and beach; it reminded me of Felixstowe and Harwich, except Felixstowe doesn’t have a bloody great volcano sitting at the harbour entrance. South on the ocean-side road to Papamoa Beach, an early finish so that I can do some laundry. Cheap camping at only $10 a night for a tent, but the place had a distinct trailer park feel.

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