Tokomaru Bay - New Zealand 1991 - CycleBlaze

January 2, 1992

Tokomaru Bay

The sky was still grey and threatening this morning, but much improved over the day before.  Thin patches of blue broke through the clouds as we left Gisborne.  The weather report called for more rain, but with some clearing by the afternoon.

Before breakfast we went out, armed with phone cards, to make a reservation at Tokomaru Bay Motor Camp for the night, and to call Alan, a friend back home, to wish him a happy birthday.  The reservation attempt was a failure - Rachael tried several times, using a coin phone, and experienced cut off connections after entering the charged amount.  The call to Alan was more successful, as was a following one to our friend Lynn, who let us know that everyone at work had by now heard of our lost wallet episode.

The first 20k of the day were lovely, closely following the coast eastward to Whangara.  Skies were grey, but the front gave us great tailwinds (as it would do all the way to Hicks Bay on the day after).  Leaving the coast though we once again encountered significant but at least bearable rains which stayed with us most of the way to Tolaga Bay, a lovely inlet rimmed by long arms into the sea.  

Tolaga Bay
Heart 0 Comment 0
Tolaga Bay
Heart 0 Comment 0
Rising from Tolaga Bay
Heart 0 Comment 0

After warming up there over cups of tea we wandered down to the beach, first stopping in the doorway of a school to wring out our socks, and were invited inside to warm up by a friendly Maori named Andrew.  We sat on the beach for about a half hour, nursing a small patch of blue in the sky and drying out a bit, before setting out again for Tokomaru Bay.  Another quite hilly, lovely inland stretch faced us - with our great tailwind though it was much easier than it might have been - and with skies gradually opening up it was quite a lovely ride.

Tokomaru Bay is stunning when approached from the hills to the south - it was one of the prettiest sites of the trip.  We sat on the beach for quite some time, soaking in the sun and wonderful views.  We found that a cabin was available at the motor camp (the hostess said she had been quite perplexed by Rachael's calls earlier in the day).  For a while we considered camping on the beach instead, until an especially dark, wet-looking cloud appeared and changed our minds.  While Rachael hustled back to the motor camp to see if the cabin was still available, I discovered another flat and slowly walked along behind.

Happily the cabin was still available, and cheap ($18).  On its porch I worked on my tire and discovered two unpleasant things - another broken spoke (and on the wrong side, unfortunately), and a few places where the spokes were protrudng into the rim, one of which was the cause of the flat.  I covered them with cardboard, trued up the wheel as best I could, and hoped it would hold out until we reached civilization.

Another pair of bikers wheeled in from the north, both beaten down and exhausted by their horrible headwinds.  I felt really badly for them - they had walked a number of hills and finally hitched a ride.

One other fact about the day - our continued failure to get our laundry done.   There is no public drier in Tokomaru; and in Tolaga there was an enterprise that takes in laundry for $15 a bag but which had a huge backlog for their one machine.

Dropping to Tokomaru Bay
Heart 0 Comment 0
Tokomaru Bay
Heart 0 Comment 0
Tokomaru Bay
Heart 0 Comment 0

Today's ride: 59 miles (95 km)
Total: 995 miles (1,601 km)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 1
Comment on this entry Comment 0