An Olfactory Organism
Biking New Zealand is a sensory overload.
While biking down roads, one hits wave upon wave of floral calling cards. In the hills, Honeysuckle clings from the hillside; in the farmland, wild roses choke the hedgerows; fields are wild with pink heather; every stream bed is laden with moss; ferns and lilies burst out of the rocks; jasmin covers the side of a barn… The smells come in waves as you ride past. Riding through a plethora of floral smells is an olfactory organism. Every hue of green coats the land and rocks. Lushness is overwhelming and envelops the road itself.
Kilometer after kilometer, the beauty is remarkable, picture post card perfect. And then the rain starts, because all this lushness needs water. Where biking in Australia was about keeping enough water on and in you, here it is about trying to keep the water off of you.
When travelling by bike, you have to be flexible, to accept the rain and the heat. However, as Ray looked at the forming clouds today, at the impending mountains we had to cross, and considered the distance
we were to travel, his remarkably good spirit took a down turn. He whispered, “I don’t want to do this in the rain”. Fair enough.
Time to rent a van or car, or to hop on a bus. There is a difference between following a dream and being pig-headed.
We truly have faced horrible weather. As we look out at our last week on the island, there is so much we still want to see. Fast forwarding, we met a woman vacationing from Canada who was travelling the same places we were, and we ended up ride sharing with her. Her van could carry our bikes and we all headed south to the Coramnendle peninsula.
This peninsula originated from volcanic activity, and remnants still remain.
Hot Water Beach is one of those remnants. On this beach, at low tide, the steam slips up through the sand. About an hour before low tide, this beach becomes packed with people and shoves. You dig in the sand and the pools fill with hot water – your own personal spa for two hours until the sea reclaims the beach.
It is also home to huge oyster beds and hence, roadside stands of the freshest oysters I have ever eaten!
Some of the biggest and oldest trees in the world,
Hundreds of miles of empty beaches,
And remarkable seaside formations.
We bike “day trips”, leaving our gear and just riding to locations. Four amazing days on the east side of New Zealand!”