Today was another day of firsts for ActiveSteve. It was the first day that I got to jump on a trampoline. Yes, I nearly killed myself in the process, but that’s just par for the course in my world, isn’t it? I kid of course. I didn’t get hurt or anything, but I did have some near misses. The other first of the day was this was the first day that I biked on the Coromandel Peninsula. I had originally been unsure whether I wanted to do this section of NZ, but after today, I’m quite glad that I did. The scenery is very nice, and the roads were uber-cool. A drivers paradise. Maybe not a cyclists’ paradise, but I still enjoyed. Read on for a little story about it, and the map too!
When dawn broke on my little shelter in Miranda, it was a welcome thing. The temperature dropped pretty low last night it seemed. Of course, I was sleeping in the nude of course in my sleeping bag, but my head was a bit chilly, so I had to really tighten down the hood part of my sleeping bag to keep the chill out. Luckily, there were no bugs to annoy me, so I slept pretty well after the hard bike. My alarm went off at 7am, and I was ready to get moving. Once all packed up and trailer ready to roll, it was just before 8:30. I was expecting another pretty long day, but with an early start, figured I could unwind at the far end.
I skipped breakfast and did a quick 30km to Thames to have a bite to eat. While there, I also booked a dorm room at a hostel. That way, even if the going got tough, I didn’t have to be there at an early time, and I knew I wouldn’t have to set up my tent in the rain or anything if the weather turned. Well, my concerns were unwarranted I had another gorgeous day of biking, and once I actually got on the Coromandel Peninsula, the road I was following was amazing. It reminded me of places like Cape Breton and Newfoundland. The road wound its way along the coast, at times merging into a single lane, as crazy NZ drivers around me jockeyed to get by. I paid them no mind however, and just focussed on what I was doing.
I enjoyed a peaceful lunch at km 60 on a hilltop overlooking the Firth of Thames, and the hill which was waiting for me after I was done eating. From 63-75, it was essentially a hillfest. If you look at my map, and see the total ascent. It was basically all found in that section, where there were 3 different hills to tackle. On the plus side, after they were over, it was just a flat finish to Coromandel, and the Tui Lodge Backpackers. I arrived to find another cyclist setting up his tent. Ralph from Holland, who was getting there via the North part of the peninsula. There were also a couple German girls, Kiki and Kati, who’ve been here for a week. The four of us have been hanging out since I got here, heading to town for Ice Cream and groceries. Ralph and I cooked ourselves a big feast of sausages, pasta sauce, pasta, and garlic bread, with fresh tomatoes, peppers and mushrooms. We also picked up some tasty beers to enjoy.
Tomorrow we might ride together for a while as well, until our paths diverge. Oh yeah, and of course there was the trampoline. There is a big one in the yard here which we used for a while. Let me tell you, it’s tiring work jumping up and down and doing silly tricks. Well, I better sign off, to get back to the jigsaw puzzle we started. I’ve also learned of a shortcut to my destination tomorrow via a gravel road, whilch will knock almost 20km off my trip tomorrow, which means a much shorter day. Hooray. It also means I should have no trouble getting to my New Year’s destination.
Take care all, hope everyone is getting excited about 2008, I know I am, even though I have no plans other than biking yet! I’m hoping to scale a small mountain on the actual New Years day, but that’s about it.