Awoke to a stunning day, clear blue skies and no wind. Like yesterday it was a leisurely start, self catered breakfast and an unscheduled car wash before getting on the road. I had parked under a tree, which was fine, but the overnight resident birds had left a calling card on AHBART’s roof and windscreen. That was easily sorted, also gave me a chance to clean of all the bugs which met their end on the trip down last night. The blunt nose panel, no grille between the headlights, and white colour make it very obvious cars and insects don’t get on.
Before leaving Whanganui I went up Durie Hill. It is a suburb with an elevator, but I drove up, and WW1 Memorial lookout tower. The views were amazing, the Mt Ruapehu/Ngarahoe and Mt Taranaki peaks clearly visible on the horizon. Whanganui looked stunning from up there with the sights and sounds of the steamboat and Saturday riverside market drifting up the hill.
It is only a couple of hundred kilometres to Wellington but I had a few stops to tick off the to-do list. First was Foxton where a prominent Windmill makes it plain this was a Dutch settlement. They have created a nice public square, café and community centre around the landmark.
A surprise was a Rembrandt Exhibition in the community building. They were (very realistic) full size digital reproductions but gave a good insight into how he used composition, lighting and false perspective in his art. Some of the reproductions were enhanced to reflect how the originals would have looked new, before the ravages of time on the paints and colours.
From there I headed south to the Southward Motor Museum. I had been past this several times but never had the opportunity to stop and it was one of the main factors in deciding to do a roadie. It more than lived up to its billing as is a vast collection of all types of cars; classic, modern, exotic, mundane and some amazing One-off specials you would see nowhere else.
Highlights for me, a lovely old Fiat tourer and a white 500 Bambina (as they were badged in NZ) but no Abarth apart from the one in the carpark.
Amazing to see Maserati 250F and the Indy Maserati which was sold to NZ as nobody else wanted it.
Ferrari and McLaren line up.
They also had the remains of Owen Evans Porsche which was destroyed in a land speed record attempt. He survived but his left arm was flung through the window guard and crushed amongst other severe injuries. The fastest I have ever been in a car was a charity ride lap of Pukekohe circuit in a Lighting Direct Porsche 993 GT2 Turbo track car driven by Owen. It was after he’d recovered from this crash. Although the ride was impressive seeing him drive up close more so. His arm was set so he could sort of hold the wheel but he essentially steered and changed gear (lever, no paddle shifts) with his right hand alone. Quite a feat at over 200km/h!
The museum also has motorcycles, bicycles and other vehicles like classic Fire Engines
After that it was over the Paraparaumu Hill, a more interesting route to my accommodation on the Petone foreshore. It is a famous hill climb, both motor and cycle racing, but has been tempered by a 60km/h limit these days. Still fun and some amazing weather helped make the panoramic views even more dramatic
I chose to stay in Petone, Foreshore Lodge Motel, as a good location for cycling but the weather was not encouraging, wet and cold (14c).
Dinner was a ‘gourmet’ burger & chips from an indie place in the Petone main street which looked, read, reviewed, like the excellent Jemima burgers near my home. It was OK, but nowhere near as good Jemima’s! Think I’m spoilt by the local offer.
Tomorrow, hopefully, some cycling.