Tuesday, 2 April 2013

HAWKES BAY - Waipawa to Hastings (63km)

Waipawa to Hastings  (www.gpsies.com/?language=en)

On the third morning of our adventure, I took a quick look at our ride notes, consulted my map where I noted that the terrain was rolling countryside with several uphill sections followed by lovely long downhill cruises. Under the elevation panel the altitude range stated 277 meters (8 to 285 meters; Total climb was 660 meters and the total descent being 790 meters. A quick word with Charlie over breakfast confirmed that there was a bit of a climb just out of town but the worst is behind us. He was right of course except for one thing, you climb a total of 660 meters and then you descend 790 meters and as the altitude range was only 277 meters, it was to be assumed that there were a lot of ups before the downs......and there were. Few recreational riders like hills and our bunch were no exception and it took it's toll with a few walking, but as I keep telling our riders it doesn't really matter whether you have to walk part of the way as long as you make it to the top and can still manage a smile when you get there, as time is not of the essence.' Of course, there is always the odd occasion when health plays a dark hand and that can happen to any of us.

Abbott Heights B&B  http://www.bnb.co.nz/hawkes_bay/results.html?town=waipawa

Before I continue, I would like to mention that our hostess Jacqui on hearing that we had to take our lunch with us graciously offered to drive the four of us into town where we were able to purchase what we required. She then drove us to the other B&B where we were invited to share drinks and pizza with some of the others. This kind gesture was well above the call of duty of a B&B hostess and I thank her for her generosity.

Climbing hills never seems to be as bad when there is exciting scenery to be photographed and day 3 was no exception, there was always another scene around the corner. New Zealand is only a small country, not unlike Ireland in lots of ways in that the scenery continuously changes and just begs to be photographed

I have depicted the above scenes as a point of illustrating that on many occasions the scene can be manipulated  to give the viewer a completely different perspective. It would be interesting if you could return here after the drought breaks and stand in exactly the same spot to photograph the exact scene, the hills would be green, the hedgerow would have changed colour and grown, the cattle moved and the weeds, grass and flowers changed completely and the cyclist in the bottom photograph on the right would not be there. That is why a photograph is referred to as a snapshot in time and what makes it unique.

Up the hills and down the other side. I'm sorry guys I'll never say this is the last hill ever again. Imagine how much fitter they all were when the trip was over.

This looks like a nice place to have lunch. A considerate farmer allowed us access to his property and who could say no to such a beautiful setting.

Frisians grazing peacefully


There's even room for the odd goat or two

These magnificent landscapes just kept on coming as if you were turning the pages of a calendar, a kaleidoscope of colours mixed with a cacophony of rural sounds all around. If all dreams were as peaceful as this, who would ever want to wake up.

A Maori interpreter would have been extremely welcome on this ride, but the boss obviously knows the way.

It's all downhill from here. Well! almost.

Did everyone see the witch on the hill? What's more, she even brought her own stake

I just had to capture this shot outside the Hastings golf club at Bridge Pa. I could be tempted to give up peddling to ride one of these. Cute isn't it?

Not only is this a beautiful golf course. The members made us quite welcome and without doubt, their Bunkers Cafe serve the best iced coffees in New Zealand..

It was a quick and uneventful 9 kilometre ride from Bridge Pa to Hastings where we were booked into Portmans Motor Lodge

It wouldn't be very often that you would find so many Scott bicycles in one room let alone a motel complex. I thought it a good executive decision for a number of reasons not least the collective security of having them under lock and key and out of the weather as well as being proactive in preventing unintentional damage to paintwork etc.

The highlights of the ride from Waipara to Hastings for me was the long downhill section which really got the adrenaline running and the iced coffee at the Golf Club in Bridge Pa.

Takaro Trails Cycle Tour (Tour organiser)

Cheers and safe riding,

Jimmy Bee


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