So a restful day with Rod and Cheryl who feed me, let me camp, took me out to Muriwai Gannett colony in the evening and the most impressive Christmas lights in Helensville! Then a 4am start next day as the ferry left at 5, we picked up about 12 Korean fishermen and headed out to fish for about 4 hrs them mainly catching snapper and trevelle, 4 or 5 of them being quite sea sick. Just a week or so ago this was near where 7 fishermen were drowned on the Waipara Bar all in the same boat. So I was happy to be dropped off at Pouto point and firm land. The next bit of road gave me my second puncture of the trip as they were just resurfacing the unsealed road and the gravel was very sharp. Lots of logging trucks and dust to keep me aware and dusty but a good day weather wise and a long stretch to Dargaville of about 60 km helped a bit by slip streaming a tractor and trailer for about 15k. Reaching Dargaville decided to carry on to Kia Iwi lakes but stopped a few km beforehand to put my tent up at a woolshed for the night the farmer came around later and was cool about me being there.
The next day would take me through the Waipoua forest and a fair number of hills then on to hokianga harbour. The forest is one of my favorites as it has our oldest and largest kauri trees and just lovely cycling because of the shelter of the trees and the traffic being somewhat slower and gentler paced. I visited the groves of trees not far from he road and felt connected because of the energy of the forest and the accientness of some of it. Then on to the Hokianga harbour and across the ferry to Kohukohu where I spent the night in the grounds of the old school.
I knew the next day would be long as I made the wish to get to Cape Reinga by the end of the day, maybe 170km. Hilly at first then onto 90 mile beach which luckily I struck when the tide was low but after about 4-5 hrs time had came in far enough to make it soft and for me to seek highway 1 up through farmland. After about 8-9 HR day on the bike saddle I wasn’t prepared to carry on and stopped at the last camping spot about 25 km from the Cape. That night the mosquitos kept me awake for the night, I have NEVER seen or heard some many, luckily only in my tent fly but they’d still ravaged me if I ever needed to go to the toilet or reach out to grab something from my bag! Hence a very early start to do the cape leaving a 6am. Very windy, mostly head and side winds and hilly. But 1 HR or so I was there and mostly had it to myself apart for Francis who did the YouTube recording for me and another chap who would have been surfing if he could have. The wind was tremendous but so was the veiw and the feeling of having done it all now.
The day still needed a cycle back to kaitaia and with hope of catching buses to Auckland and then Napier I’ve the next couple of days getting there in time for Christmas and family…which happened just 😆
Watch the YouTube clip:
SOME FINAL THOUGHTS ON MY CLIMATE CYCLE:
I found it very useful to have a goal and a purpose to what I was doing otherwise it may not have been finished as planned. This was very evident for me at the end of the south island where the weather had turned and I was feeling a bit of animosity from traffic and also from me to traffic!
Each step we take towards our goal whether it be to reaching a destination like on this ride or towards helping reduce climate change is important and acheiveable the finale result will always feel a long way off.
There are dangers on the road and elsewhere but our fears are even more real and limiting. Through planning and common sense we can limit the dangers if we listen and take care of ourselves and others. This is so important to the whole climate change situation the planet is in and how we deal with it.
People want to help and they will if they know your need and what you are doing. Unlike my first I-pledge climate cycle in Britain were we all had banners and flags, t-shirts etc this time I was on my own so less of a spectacle so not so promoting of what I was doing. It’s easier to do this with a group.
Connecting with the land and people is very important and sometimes difficult if you are just staying in touristy places or trying to get the miles under your tyres. One important way for me is to be able to stop and camp where my journey took me but as I have said before this is getting harder in a restricted and even frowned upon in a No Freedom Camping age.
Having the website link and small blog was also something that was valuable even just for me alone as it did help to keep me focused on my goal and purpose. And if only a few people ever read of my travels this would not matter because it will be a record of what was done and may just motivate someone else to do similar.
This is my wish that I-pledge climate cycle continues and I alone (and maybe not but with others) will continue to do such activity on a bicycle for our planet.
Many blessings and much Metta to you all for this new year and years to come.