Orere Point - Manukau (Auckland)
Dec 19, 2008
The end of the road !!!
The weather this morning was hot and sunny – very hot – 28 degrees when we were packing up the tent, and we were already sweating buckets before we even left. Nick went up to the store to get breakfast and sandwich stuff, then we ate and then packed up. With the heat it meant we weren't on the road until 11. We didn't think we had far to go – 40 miles maybe – but we also knew it would be hilly which would slow us down. We also did not want to be cycling around Auckland in Friday night rush hour traffic – the last Friday before Christmas at that, so we were keen to get on the road.
The first hour or so was very hilly, rolling up and down every few minutes, it was hot and the wind was full-on, for a change! When we reached W we turned west and cycled the next hour towards Clevedon. This road was less undulating – a few longer, but less steep hills.
In Clevedon when we were studying the map, a local lady came up and asked us if we wanted any help. She advised us we had 2 choices for our next phase, either way meant going over a hill. The main road was one, long, gradual climb or we could take the back road which was quieter, and was a steep, twisty road with more ups and downs. Some choice :o) Grateful for the information, we chose the back road and, after a quick lunch of peanut butter and marmalade sandwiches (is that a world first? we didn't have any jam!) we set off up the hill. Our good samaritan was well and truly cursed when the 'ups and downs' turned out to be just ups, and I had to resort the 'emergency gear' (well, it was the last day!) to get up it. At the top we rested and chatted to another local who was out on his road bike, a 'mature' man who did 40 miles every day, and whose daughter cycles for New Zealand. He even offered us a camp spot next to his pond, just a few miles down the road. We thanked him but explained that we had to get on to Auckland.
Off again and speeding down the hill was great fun, but there were still many, many hills to take in before we got to our destination. At the bottom of the hill, when we were again studying the map, a post-woman (in a car) pulled over and helped us plot the rest of the route into Manukau where we were planning to spend our last few nights.
Three helpful soles in one day is probably a record, but it does come as a timely reminder to us how friendly, helpful and welcoming the majority of kiwis have been. Thanks you, Kiwis!
Our route took us on to Brookby and then across to Highway 1.
The last 5 miles or so were really, really hard. For one thing there was virtually no cycle lane and no room on the road for traffic to pass the bikes, which was horrid. Probably the worst stretch of road we cycled in fact, from that point of view. More relevant though was that our thighs were really, really tired from yesterday's exertion, there was just no power in them at all.
We got a couple of good views of Auckland as we rode in, and then, not a moment to soon, we reached the campsite at Manukau City.
Quite a small and busy camp here, 4 star but nothing particularly outstanding.
Up with the tent, for the very last time, and we congratulated ourselves on the challenge we had just accomplished (the cycling, not putting the tent up).
We had to take a bus ride to the supermarket, to a big shopping center in fact, where we stocked up once again and then headed back for a celebration dinner (Green Thai Curry).