The miserable north

Being New Zealand, the north is supposed to be warmest part of the country, but with the rain and wind it was more Shetland than Bermuda.  I was hoping to enjoy the ride up to Cape Reinga, maybe with some riding along 90 mile beach and a nice view of the Tasman meeting the Pacific… But it was not to be.

The patchy rain of the day before had turned into a steady downpour that didn’t look to be stopping soon.  I could have waited a couple of days for the weather to clear, but if I did that every time the weather turned I’d still be trying to ride out of Canada.  On top of that, I’ve gotten quite used to being the bearer of wet weather- throughout my trip I seem to have brought either unseasonable rain or broken droughts.  This time was no different, since the north hadn’t had rain for months and all the fire threat signs were set to ‘extreme’ as I tried to see my way through the pounding rain.

So, it wasn’t a surprise when I got to the point and found my bike the only visitor.

I wandered down to the lighthouse, almost pumping into it as it’s white paint blended in perfectly with the conditions.  When I arrived back at the parking lot a Japanese tourist was there and had locked his keys in his car.  After some efforts to break-in, we decided to smash a window with my hatchet.  Luckly, I had some water-proof tape and a large plastic bag so we could seal the window back up and protect his impressive collection of cameras- he had three mounted in the car just to video the roads while he was driving!  Stereotypes can be such fun…

Not being too keen on getting back on the road, I did what any self respecting rider would do and made a hot lunch- soup and garlic toast sounded about perfect!

As luck would have it, the weather cleared just in time for a tour bus to disgorge its passengers, but even though a bitter little part of me felt they didn’t deserve it, I still enjoyed getting a proper view despite their presence.

And, I really can’t complain about the tour bus- the passengers were good natured and many were keen to hear about my trip and get pictures with me and the bike.  Nothing like being treated like a star to warm whatever the hot soup and toast didn’t!


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