The 2 Giant bikes bought in Whangarei in 2005, pulled out of storage. They needed a bit of no. 8 wire work on them to get them roadworthy.
We are camped near the Waitangi Treaty Grounds in the Bay of Islands after recovering our two old Giant bikes from the storage shed we loaded up with useless goodies nearly 3 years ago in Opua. It feels a bit weird being back in the Bay without a boat, but it's partly a business trip for us here, as well as a chance to get some exercise puffing up and down Northland's hills. We have rather reluctantly had to sort our pensions out before getting too decrepit and will go and measure the marina berth in Tutukaka to see if Sundari can fit in anywhere, before abandoning the Penguin Pad altogether.
The westerly anchorage at Paihia in the Bay of Islands -strange to be here without a boat!
Auckland Airport was heaving with everyone from everywhere and to judge by the number of tourists in this campground and little tacky, nearby Paihia, wories about COVID-19 haven't dented the tourism industry in NZ, except possibly the numbers of Chinese tourists are way down.
Northland has supposedly been in deep drought, the worst ever. Whangarei has been the driest since WW2 and the normally lush green cow paddocks of the Waikato are (or were, brown). Of course, it has been raining every day since we arrived. Perhaps we could sell our services as drought breakers!
Northlanders of course are happy about the drizzle. We heard kiwi calling just behind our tent last night, first the shrill male, then the harsh female. Apparently, Northland brown kiwi have been stumbling out of the bush during the drought looking for water.The dry ground has made it difficult to probe for worms with their long beaks.
Our 2 bikes were in a bit of a mess when we eventually extricated them from the treasure trove they had been squashed in. They had aready survived nearly 10 years chained to a non existent shed while stored up at the Saraoni ranch while we were circumnavigating, even being danced upon by happy cows. We have had to use a bit of No. 8 wire tactics on getting them in suitable shape to ride on with all our gear, with help from the friendly bike hire guy in Paihia.
We will cycle over Northland's new bike path that goes from Opua to the Hokianga, ride through the kauri forest to Dargaville, over to Whangarei and down to Auckland before checking out the marina at Tutukaka. We should be back in Scarborough on Sundari by the end of March, ready for whatever adventures we get up to this year.
Pou Herenga Tai - the 85 km cycle path that links Opua to Horeke on the Hokianga across the Northland peninsula from east to west coast.