Friday, 21 October 2011

Whangamata, New Zealand - 10,000 miles

Wow! I’ve now cycled 10,000 miles since leaving Scotland last summer in eleven different countries and four different continents. I’ve only just changed to my second set of tires and I’ve still only had three punctures! In recognition of this achievement and all the fabulous tales from the saddle that I’ve brought you, why don’t you sponsor me if you’ve not done so already and make a donation to Oxfam by clicking on the link on the right. Thank you.

I must confess a few of those recent miles have been pushing – the hills on New Zealand’s Coromandel Peninsula are short but severe! However the pushing is usually rewarded with a sweeping descent through pretty rolling hills that eventually bottoms out at some gorgeous golden sand beach. I pedalled by Mercury Bay where Captain Cook anchored in 1769 to watch the transit of Mercury and at the same time declared the land to be British. I’m not sure if he’d run this by the Maoris first! If New Zealand was colonised by Brits, why does everybody talk with “sich a finny accint”?

One of the more unusual beaches on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island is Hot Water Beach. One evening, just before low tide, I walked along the beach, enjoying the Pacific washing up between my toes. There were dozens of people frantically digging large holes in the sand or already relaxing in steaming pools of hot water courtesy of the local geothermal activity! I was too cheap to rent my own shovel to dig a hole so sneaked into a recently vacated pool – it was hot … really hot!

In a couple of days I‘ll turn inland to cycle through the heart of New Zealand’s land of fire - in pursuit of more hot action!


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