I had a nice breakfast back at “Seashore Cabaret” on the Petone waterfront (opposite the lodge). Today was just the drive back to Auckland but by a different route than I came down.
AHBART skilfully packed (OK, not really) for the long drive home. I use foam ‘pool noodles’ to both pad the bike bits near the interior trim and quell any bike rattles.
One thing I learnt on this trip was to carry a 2l bottle of water (seen sitting on the engine below) for the screen washers. They are powerful (3 jets front, 1 rear) and it was easy to empty the little reservoir tucked, invisible bar the filler, in the engine bay between fuel stops even though they are frequent. The 35l fuel tank, with low fuel warnings from about 6-7l remaining, and 350-500km range meant filling at the start of every day, sometimes twice! In parts of the South Island (West Coast especially) you need to be a bit conservative.
I had a traffic free run up to the summit of Rimutaka Hill. That is a rare, and fun, experience as it’s a busy, and superb, road.
I didn’t have a traffic free run down the other side but caught a Fiat 500C so was good to see a ‘cousin’.
I had come down the East Coast so for a change of scenery decided to take the longer distance Wairarapa, Napier, Taupo route home. I have been that way before, but not for years, and Sunday traffic meant had plenty of time to take in the scenery. It was flowing but quite slow, ~70-80km/h in open road areas, which seems to be a thing now.
It was such a nice day I took a short side trip up Te Mata Peak, Havelock North near Napier. In addition to wonderful views there are some great looking mountain bike trails, but I didn’t have time to get the bike out this time.
Going out of Napier I stopped to get some orchard apples. Pulling back on to the highway I let a posse of motorbikes past then followed them most of the way to Taupo. It was a great drive, about 100km of brilliant road and (until close to Taupo) little traffic. The odd occasion when we caught a slow vehicle (mostly motorhomes struggling up hills) there was a well placed passing lane so was easy to get past.
Had intended to stop for dinner in Taupo, but it was too early so got a gelato from the ‘3 Little Kiwis’ trailer on the lakefront. They said it was their last serving of their summer season.Only had a couple of flavours left, but one was cappuccino so that was good for me. Went for a short stroll to stretch my legs and got back to find them closed, so guess it was!
Kilometre 159,000 on the road to Pirongia. Just seems like yesterday that the odometer turned over 158,000, but it was a few days ago on the way to Arthurs Pass.
- I drove 3,020km in AHBART, about 500km more than planned.
- It didn’t need any engine oil or coolant added, no mechanical problems, just daily (or more) fuel and washer tank refills and one tyre pressure top up.
- It used ~250l of fuel, ~7.6l/100km (rounded figures as included a bit of commuting when I got home)
- 6.6l/100km best | Rimutaka to Napier
- 9.5l/100km worst | Addington/Akaroa/Springfield
- I cycled 388km, about 100km less than planned. A bit of that was missing some A2O but mostly due to not cycling in Wellington due to the weather.
Do it again? For sure, tomorrow if I could!