|Look Ma, no leaks...|
I met up with Colin and his mate Brett in Sanson again and we had a coffee while we waited to see if any exotic wildlife would turn up. Well, we were disappointed on the wildlife score so decided that we'd better go for a ride instead.
It seemed to have been ages (I think about 2 weeks for Colin) since we'd been up the Whangaehu Valley after sampling a little of the sealed section of Turakina Valley, we turned off up Mangamahu Road. Shame about the weather.
As you can tell, I had the camera running but with it only taking a photo every 10 seconds it unfortunately missed a really spectacular sight. Rounding a corner, I disturbed what must have been around a dozen peacocks which immediately took to the air to avoid the big blue Yammie bearing down on them. They sure look pretty with all the colours and actually get off the ground and out of the way pretty easily. Ok, so not an elephant, but still pretty cool. I won't bother to mention all the sheep and goats out on the road....
Riding along, I was thinking that the Tenere was handling pretty damn nice now that it had some oil in the left leg and when we hit the first bit of gravel I found that it handled that fairly nicely too. Colin mentioned something about us not slowing up much when we hit the gravel.
|Brett on his shiny GS|
The road was still in pretty fast condition
Busting out onto the seal of Fields Track we dodged more woolly mums and their lambs before turning off onto Owhakura Road for a mint gravel hill climb which dropped us down onto Turakina Valley Road again.
The ride out of Turakina Valley Road to Tangiwai was nothing short of a blast. Smooth, hard gravel meant nice average speeds and some fun rear wheel steering out of corners. Oh, and the mountain looked pretty good too. Dammit, I need to go back there already...
Settling down a bit, we pottered into Waiouru for lunch and some fuel. Yes, the day was starting to look halfway decent too.
After lunch it was time to introduce Brett to another of our favourite gravel loops. This meant a wee jaunt over part of the Napier-Taihape Road.
A hook to the right and we were back into the gravel again.
Yes, the gravel was still pretty good going and still having to try really hard (and failing) to come up with any complaints about the weather.
Further on up on Pukeokahu Road, the narrower road slowed us up a little bit but still no complaints from this guy.
Taoroa Junction was the end of the gravel for a while as we made our way back onto SH1 to start heading home. Just North of Ohingaiti, SH1 was starting to suck and there were monkeys out on the road doing stupid stuff so I decided to throw in another diversion for the lads.
Otara Road got us to Mangamako Road but instead of turning left to take the seal to Pemberton, we went right 'cos I knew there be gravel thattaway...
The gravel was a bit deeper through here and it came as a bit of a shock to the system after the magic stuff we'd been on earlier.
I did get to go after a few rabbits though - there were a heap of them having some sort of gathering within the space of about 10m.
Eventually the gravel petering out, dumping us onto Vinegar Hill - oh damn! One last little bit of excitement ended with a quick stop to say seeya to the guys before I made my way to the olds for a Father's Day catch-up.
A very satisfactory first day of spring!