Have you ever heard of biketramping? Most likely not. It’s a word that came up in my head on my recent trip. It describes my new way of traveling: I’m using my bike to reach a backcountry hut as close as possible. At some stage it may happen that I leave my bike and panniers behind and change to a backpack and hiking boots to tramp the rest of the way. I discovered the possibility of biketramping when I rode the Nevis Road in February 2017, a remote backcountry road in Otago. By chance I found an historic hut next to the road where I spent the night. It was my first time in a backcountry hut in New Zealand. After that amazing experience I asked myself where else can I go with my bike (or by feet) and stay in a hut. Other biketramps I have done so far: Packhorse Hut, Black Hill Hut, Benmore Hut, Tarn Hut.
I know, it’s ages ago I’ve posted anything on my blog (did you think I was dead?). For a long time I didn’t feel much like writing, but lately my mind is overflowing with thoughts, that I would like to share. I hope this post will help me to bring some order in my mind and reflect back on this pretty intense year in New Zealand. This time I’m writing more about my inner journey. It’s a little bit different from my previous blogs, I hope you enjoy it (plan about 30 minutes of reading time).
From Wairoa to Auckland
It was raining all day we should better stay at Wairoa but we had a tight time schedule so we kept going. We got very wet, after 40 km to road 38 became unsealed and it was muddy. Then the road ascent. We found a holiday park next to the road called “The Bush”, it was very quiet there and we got surprised when the owner said we don’t need to pay, camping is for free, but no hot shower. From the Big Bush we cycled to Mokau. We came through the Te Urewera National Park and cycled along the Lake Waikaremoana. The landscape is very beautiful and it was quiet, not many cars or tourists coming here. From Mokau we went to Mimiha Campsite. The weather turned better, we had no more rain. We climbed over 900 m high. We got a fantastic view over the lake and rain forest. After I saw this I think the North Island is very exciting as well. After the summit the road became dusty with more loose stones. Yen cycled slowly she is afraid of the loose gravel. We passed only small settlements where Maori living. The stock and horses are free, they wandering on the road. On the next day on the way to Murupara we reached the sealed road again. We came out of the rain forest and were surrounded by farmland. At the campsite in Murupara we paid only 15 $ together and got vegetables from their garden for free.
From Wellington to Wairoa
We arrived with the Interislander ferry in Wellington. It was rainy, we decided to skip the center of Wellington and went straight to the northern suburb Petone where we stayed at the Top10 holiday park. It was the beginning of February and we had only one month for the North Island. Yen planed every day so that we arrive in time in Auckland where our plane departures on the 04th March. From Petone we cycled along the Hutt River Trail. We got lot of rain and wind in the morning. Then we joined the Rimutaka Trail. In the beginning of the trail is the Tunnel Recreation a wide space where we camped. The next day we followed the Rimutaka Trail. It’s a beautiful cycle trail, I was amazed. The weather was good and we stopped often to sit down and enjoy the landscape. Rimutaka is Maori and means “sit down”. The trail is an former rail way on the way are many information with facts about the rail way. After the summit the way down was rough with more loose stones, but still ride able only once we had to push to cross a creek. Then we came out at Featherston and camped at the Lake Wairarapa.
From Greymouth to Picton
Greymouth is the largest town on the west coast and located directly by sea. We went along a cycle path at the beach when suddenly my crank got loose and fall off. I tried to fix it but it fall off again after 2 km just in front of a warehouse. I bought new screws and washers to fix the arm proper. We cycled to Blackball via a quiet country road. In Blackball is a community house where we camped for 5 $ per person. As it was raining heavy the next day we stayed in Blackball and spent the day on the veranda of the community house. I tried to fix Yen her gear shift, she can’t use the lowest gear that’s why mountain climbing is harder for her. But I couldn’t fix it, the chain won’t get on the largest sprocket. My sore throat was gone but my wisdom tooth starts aching a new teeth is coming through and push against the gums.