Impending bad weather and not much by way of interim choices meant I needed to make a 110 km jump today. I left the hostel by 8:00 am, successfully avoiding the drunk guy from last night who didn’t like Americans.
With a long way to go, I initially opted for the small highway instead of the slower Rails to Trails cycle way. The first 40 km flew pleasantly by, flat. I passed Hobbiton, but didn’t see any hobbits. Tourist attractions in NZ are wildly expensive (touring Hobbiton is ~$100 USD).
My fans follow me everywhere, gathering whenever I stop for food, water, and sunscreen. They even chase me when I cycle off.
When I reached Tirau, I briefly merged with State Road 1 – the same road as my drive to Auckland – before diverting to State Road 5.
Heavy traffic and steep climbing became a focal point for the next 30 km. With occasional walking I reached an elevation of 500 m. Rain followed me (more a steady mist above the cloud line).
The drop into Rotorua was 10+ km of rapid descent into the caldera. I forecast an intense ride out.
Andy is here in Rotorua through tomorrow! We’ll hopefully connect later tonight. I’m at Rotorua Central Hostel, he’s elsewhere. Nice hostel.
I did a wildly better job today with calories. I’m saddle-sore and achy, but I kept my energy up (tho still not 100%, see walking comment above). That said, I’m taking a break for a few days. Time to explore and recharge a bit. I also hung out the tent to dry.
I’ve had another person tell me the path from this side of NZ to the other is fraught with peril. Desirous of avoiding death, a bus is in my future!