Our first day went smoothly riding out of Auckland thanks to google maps which actually knows about all of Aucklands cycle paths. Not quite so convenient after my phone battery went flat though!
There were a few things I was thinking up some of the hills – like do I really need my touchpad? Do I really need my ultra lightweight backpack? Why do I have so many cans of tuna in my panniers??? Maybe we can adjust the packing slightly and make a second trip to the post office. There’s a few ways of thinking about it – I like to think that the more I carry, the stronger I’ll get. At the moment our paces are quite well matched – but I have done more cycling recently than Gabe so I expect it won’t take long and he’ll be zooming ahead of me up all the hills! Instead of shedding the 500gs of touchpad I’m typing this on I would rather shed 500g off from under my cycling jersey anyway!!! Touchpad is staying for now!!
We cycled to Parakai Springs and pitched our tents – our friend Lynda came and visited us for a dinner of curried veggies and couscous. She also made us some awesome scones and some awesome focaccia! It was a great night!
We jumped on a fishing charter – it was actually a family fishing day that the guy that was running the fishing charter but Rod and Cheryl welcomed us on board, and they lent us a rod and while the journey across to Pouto Point was an enjoyable 5 hours. First time for me fishing with a fishing rod and I while a lot of bait got eaten by the fishies without actually catching them, I did manage to hook a 76cm kingfish. The guys on the boat were pretty jealous as it’s rare to catch a kingfish let alone one that’s legal. Legal size for a kingfish is 75cm so mine was ok to eat for dinner! Gabe did an awesome job cooking it up and there’s something kind of cool about eating a fish you caught yourself straight out of the harbour!
The boat dropped us off at Pouto Point and we decided to pitch out tent right there – there’s a cute as little camp spot just above where the boat dropped us off, with facilities kind of like a cute little backpackers. Beautiful spot.
The Kennett Brothers give two options of riding from Pouto Point to Dargaville – along the beach or on the road. The beach is only possible 2.5 hours either side of low tide because otherwise the sand is too soft further up the beach. We both were keen to take the beach road but unfortunately the headwind and sand meant that we were only able to ride at about 12km/hr and after riding 7km to the lighthouse we decided that we hadn’t allowed ourselves enough time to make it to Glinks Gully before losing the beach. So we stop to explore the lighthouse, and decide to ride back again and take the road.
The road to Dargaville from Pouto Point is only about 50% paved and it’s days like this I am very glad I’m riding with fat knobbly tyres! We both had our first falls off our bikes and I’m thankful that my touchpad still works! I will continue wrapping my thermarest around it for extra padding!!!
Tomorrow we will begin the next leg to Rawena – we expect to get there in 2 days.