Monday, January 30, 2012

Day 2: Pukenui-ish to Kaitaia

Distance: 47.6k
Distance so far: 109.8k
Speed: 18.9k/h
Runkeeper logs: 1, 2

Following the advice of commenters and my own inclination, I decided to start where I left off rather than cheating and starting from Pukenui. After a bit of a sleep-in and a delicious breakfast at Pukenui, I got a lift back to where I left off and got started.

As I observed yesterday, the road between Te Kao and Pukenui was a lot flatter than the road down from Reinga, and that trend continued today, getting even flatter. There were very few hills, and they were all pretty mild and easily conquered. The road, too, was nice and even - very unlike the first few km out of Reinga. Little to no shoulder most of the way, though, making me glad of the wide berth motorists tend to give me.

25k saw me through to my first and only stop of the day, at Waiharara, where I stopped for a short break and a trumpet (NZ's version of a Cornetto):

I resisted the temptation to try a "Hangi in a Pie":

Continuing on, the scenery continued to be gorgeous, and the road uneventful. I stopped briefly for a look at the Waipapakuri memorial, the site of NZ's northernmost airstrip, and our first line of defence against invasion by Japan during World War 2.

Further on was Awanui. Here, State Highway 10 branches off from State Highway 1, and for the first time in my trip the country is wide enough to support more than one major road. I'm still in the Far North - that's the name of the region - but I don't think this counts as the Far Far North any longer.

Not much further on was Kaitaia, and the end of my journey for the day, for which my legs - still a bit tired from yesterday - are grateful.

Tomorrow I plan to make for Whangaroa, a distance of a little over 70k, though I may change my mind on that depending on what the elevation profile looks like - I'd like to take things easy for a bit while I get into the rhythm of my tour.

Finally, a quick reminder for anyone who hasn't read it already, you should read my postcard post. This is your last opportunity to get one from Kaitaia!

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