Tuesday, 9 April 2013

HAWKES BAY - Hastings to Taradale (45 km)


To-day, being the 4th day of our ride in the Hawkes Bay Region, we are about to tackle the Wineries Cycle Trail. This is one of the shorter rides at 45 km.

Golf Club entrance at Bridge Pa

We had to retrace our footsteps which took us past the Aero Club and through Bridge Pa which of course is where we stopped the day before at the Hastings Golf Club and where I savoured the best iced coffee I've ever tasted. The entrance to the golf club is marked with an avenue of pine trees from the gateway right through to the clubhouse and is in itself a remarkably inviting entrance.

Ngatarawa Winery

Whilst on our 10 km ride around the Ngatarawa Gimblett Gravels Wine Apellation we decided to stop at the eye-catching Ngatarawa Winery where apart from the usual wine tasting we were given a short interesting talk on the history of the property. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a glass fronted refrigerator containing ice cream and as I'm an ice cream tragic, I just had to try some and  I was not disappointed as it was very tasty. That in itself was not surprising, for New Zealand is renowned as having some of the nicest ice cream in the South Pacific.

We continued on the limestone trail for a short while until we arrived at the Trinity Hill Winery where once again we were afforded the opportunity to take lots of photographs and of course the wine sampling continued. Wineries come in all shapes and sizes , some are quaint, others historic, quite a few picturesque but then there are the comfortable ones where one could ensconce oneself for hours sipping a nicely chilled white or a hearty red. Unfortunately, it wasn't to be to-day as it was time to move on, but, not before I purchased one of those t-shirts. No, I'm neither the model on the left or the right but I couldn't resist buying one.........ideal for wearing to a barbeque.

With hunger pains starting to set in, an executive decision was made to stop for lunch at the Unwined Cafe attached to the Unison EstateVineyard. This was a very pleasant cafe, the service was good with the atmosphere relaxed and friendly, a great place for 17 hungry cyclists to chill out and  refuel before rolling rubber on the limestone once again.

It's as though they pose for the camera all of the time

We continued on the wine trail until we reached Fernhill, a small village on the Ngaruroro River. On reaching the river, we turned right and followed the trail along the river heading towards the coast.

Ngaruroro River, Fernhill
Riding high on a contour bank

Just looking at the above pictures, one can imagine what this river looks like during a flood and why these massive contour banks are required to control the water.

A great picnic spot

I wish we were riding along this track

This looks like as good a place as any to stop and stretch the legs and wow! look at the view.
With the rest of the ride going like clockwork, it wasn't long before we were pulling into the Colonial Lodge Motel in Taradale, with another great day of riding under our belt.

Our Tour Operator Takaro Trails Cycle Tours  (Link)
 Cheers and safe riding,

Jimmy Bee

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