After a wet night I was quite glad I'd got the cycling done and dusted. Had a self catered breakfast (an Up n Go and a JED'S coffee bag) then hit the road heading for Hicks Bay. For the first time this trip I emailed ahead to check there was accommodation, limited options and 150km from there to Gisborne meant having a bed would be useful. Not necessary as it turned out but the owner admitted this time of year it was feast or famine and they'd had several coach loads the night before. That explained the those I saw on the drive there.
Thought pig dog training and bookbinding an unusual combination of skills!
Lovely drive, although not in a hurry I had some opportunity to exercise the Fiat which had been idle all day yesterday while I mountain biked. Not far before Te Kaha had a brief stop while they recovered a truck from what looked like a nasty crash. Flat bed truck with a tractor on it had understeered off a hairpin, the roads were damp, and looked pretty smashed up. Hope the driver was OK, the stop ‘n go man didn't know, but there was nothing mentioned in the news.
Lovely coastline even in less than wonderful weather. Had heard about the Raukokore’s St Paul's Church with its special residents, penguins which nest beneath the floor. Worth a stop even for this non-believer.
It was sad to see several burnt out cars, some looking quite new, on the roadside. Evidence of a tough life in this remote area?
I took a several km diversion down the road to Litten Point, just curious to see what was at the end, all sealed, but they were felling some old pine trees so couldn't go all the way.
Had lunch, nice filled roll and last of my 3kg bag of Oratia apples, at the Hicks Bay wharf.
Nice viewpoint but closed as looked, as the sign said, on the verge of collapsing!
Thankfully the Hicks Bay Motel was much more solidly constructed*. The wind increased to a howling gale, joined by torrential rain, overnight literally shaking the whole place. Other than the weather it was a good place to stay. I had a nice dinner in the restaurant, pan fried fish and salad, where I beat the evening rush. There were a few people in the bar but I was alone in the restaurant but as I left the crowds arrived. 2 more!
* The integrity was really tested when the area was rocked by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake the week after my trip! Thankfully, although a big shake, the epicentre was offshore so there was little property damage and no injuries.
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