Apologies – this is my first blog entry on the Kopiko. Friday, we had to head straight to bed for a very early start on Saturday; Saturday we had no phone signal or wifi at Pukeho; and Sunday I had mobile signal but a tech glitch on this site. So, it’s now Monday at the end of a hard 8 hours of riding. So the best I can do is Friday’s blog…then catch up over the next few days. Rest assured, tho, all is well and we’re having a fine, if arduous, time.
Friday, February 26
With a great sense of excitement about the adventures ahead, Celeste and Keir and Kennedy and I drove south from Auckland this morning heading for Taranaki. We were very well organised, even if the picture above looks as tho two blokes were struggling to work out how to get two bikes on the roof of a Prius. (The answer was, one vertical and the other horizontal.)
Celeste took the pic in Kennedy’s drive. Note the “food forest” on the right, which will feature in tomorrow’s blog.
We paused for coffee at a favourite cafe in Pirongia and lunch at another in Piopio (The Fat Pigeon, famous for its date scones, tho the customer just in front of Kennedy got the last one of the day’s bake, he was disappointed to see.) The traffic was light, the weather beautiful and the scenery exquisite all the way down to New Plymouth.
There we picked up a couple of last minute bike bits at Torpedo 7 and picked up our emergency beacon from Nicholas of TrackMe at the classic old school hall at NP Boys’ High. Then we met Lynn at the airport from her flight from Auckland.
Then came the real delight of the day. We drove down to the Cape Egmont Boat Club, just five km up the coast from the Cape lighthouse, our starting point tomorrow morning, and where Kennedy and I were planning to camp.
The club was heaving because this was one of their biggest fishing competition weekends of the year. Yet, they were very happy to have visitors to dine and to camp. The Commodore, Richie, pointed us to a back paddock with a lone big fishing boat on a trailer and said that would be a fine place for us to camp away from the hubbub at the club.
As you see in the photos below, the club was a classic. The honour boards showed that a lady was the club’s game fish champion for the 122kg marlin she caught in 1989. People from weather-beaten old fishermen down to babies, and a good few dogs were having a very jolly time. Every one got a free ticket for the lucky draw…and the first ticket drawn was Lynn’s, a fine early birthday present for her of fishing themed items.
After dinner, Kennedy and I set up camp for an early bedtime (we’re getting up at 5am tomorrow)…and Lynn, Celeste and Keir headed back into New Plymouth for their weekend B’n’B. And as we drifted off to sleep in our tents, we could barely hear the partying fisher men and women in the clubhouse.