I found it a bit difficult to cycle when leaving Westport. Maybe the energy from last nights lovely rare steak hadn't kicked in or perhaps pancakes & maple syrup for breakfast was a mistake?
Things got better after 10km which was a relief as still had about 90 to go. The first 40 km or so was mostly flat but a swirling wind made the long straights more "interesting". It varied between headwind, tailwind and side wind, often all at nearly the same time!
Initially you don't see the coast but amazing clear weather meant the inland ranges looked close enough to touch.
When we did hit the coast, proper, near Granity it was awesome. I diverted to the beach for some photos only to find it crowded (one other person walking their dog).
It’s also the place to buy Proper, as opposed to improper, Ties
After crossing a river the road went inland and climbed Karamea Bluff. This is part of the Kahurangi National Park so the 6km, 420m high, steady climb was rewarded with spectacular views and a bird song chorus as you rode.
The descent was as long but also not a very steep. At one stage I got to 69km/h but perhaps most interesting was a "recommended 25km/h" left hand corner which really did mean 25km/h. I made it around OK, and stayed on the correct side of the centre line, but only just. Quite glad there was nobody coming the other way!
The road to Karamea is a dead end and road works on a bridge (which only opens at set times) meant traffic varied from sparse to none. Quite cool to ride three abreast with one on the wrong side of the road on a State Highway (even if it was effectively closed behind us).
Another awesome day added 99km to the clock and concluded with a lovely dinner at "The Last Resort". Although it's at the end of a 94km dead end road it is worth the trip.