I woke from a gale-force night. Strong winds wracked the tent until early morning. I kept waking to find the tent partially folded over, yet I arose to find the tent dry and intact. I intended to wait until the end of morning rains to pack up, when I realized the night’s wind hadn’t brought rain – the tent remained dry!
I scrambled to pack before the rain. As I packed, I noticed the rear tire flat – again! As I finished repairing the tube the rain began. I tucked the loaded bike under shelter and retreated to the tavern’s covered patio to impatiently wait out the rain.
Too impatiently. When the rain stopped, I gave it ten minutes, and prepared to leave. When the rain restarted, I retreated to shelter. When the rain again stopped, I headed out. Into more rain. I carried on. As the rain increased, I geared up for inclement weather.
The day started with climbing, recurring on and off all day. Cahoo drove by me by several times today as I struggled up hills. With heavy headwinds. The forecast called for 45 kph, but at least it wasn’t that!
Until the last 10 km. I slammed directly into winds bending over trees, the wind tossing me back and forth. I had to walk any non-downhill gradient to make any progress at all!
With heavy rain in the forecast for the night, I passed up the free domain camping for a hostel. Which then wasn’t there.
Fortunately, I knew of another hostel in 15 km. Carrying on, around the next corner I found the first hostel (Otapawa Farmstay – quite nice)!
Storms raged, but I settled in before the blazing wood stove. I spent the evening chatting with Rocky, a tree harvester with a process audit tomorrow. We talked about US politics, cycling, weather, and NZ. A great end to the day.
I’m managing my time as I head into Wellington. I’m heading for the Rimutaka Trail that I learned of during class. From here just west of Pongaroa I have 90 km to Masterton on Friday, a day to the Rimutaka, and a day into Wellington arriving Sunday night, returning the bicycle on Tuesday, and my flight Wednesday morning. About a day and a half to spare.
Except the forecast for Saturday and Sunday is rain and gale-force winds.