Taupo to Tongariro

Day eleven

Ominous. The south looked ominous.

I had a warning of rain so planned to be up and on the road by 7am. I joined the road to Napier at 6:50 then turned south onto the East Taupo Arterial towards Turangi. The mountains were gone, replaced by a low cloud cover  growing greyer  deeper in the distance.
It was a crisp paced ride to Turangi. Really very pretty, light traffic and dry up to within 10 minutes of town. Then it was on with the rain gear for the arrival, coffee and muesli. I sat and watched the rain from the cafe, windless, dense and consistent. I had a choice: quit or go for the mountain. I chose the mountain.

I prepared and hit the road. Up state highway one to Rangipo then right towards Tongariro. On the ride up the cloud came down to meet me, eventually enveloping me like a hug from an old friend. From there is was a perpetual climb into consistent rain.

The higher I went, the wetter I got and the windier it became until I reached the intersection of 46 and 47 where that rain got horizontal and bitter. It was time to hold up before things got worse. 400 metres up the road was salvation (well shelter) in the form of the tongarariro holiday park kitchen.

It was the end of my day. I was wet, cold and without connection.

Before long camp filled with wet wayward stragglers. Like a transit lounge for the adventurer. Shared stories, bad meals and wool socks drying on hooks by the door. Each pair weary and resting for another day, just like their masters.

Todays top track: Bob Dylan – Not dark yet

Haunting. I’m Always amazed By this mans abilty to manipulate words around melody.

“I was born here and I’ll die here, against my will.  I know it looks like I’m movin’ but I’m standin’ still. Every nerve in my body is so naked and numb. I can’t even remember what it was I came here to get away from. Don’t even hear the murmur of a prayer. It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there.”

I think many a rider has had a day like this!

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One thought on “Taupo to Tongariro”

  1. Hiya

    Reading this with hilarity – you just cant beat a good lamb rack.

    Where are you know? I was guessing you might do the Taihape Napier road – Rose and Anne remember it well, and left a lot of vomit on that road when we used to travel between Waiouru and Napier. I think its sealed these days. Which is a pity really as the gravel added to it. I’m so old I can easily remember when the Napier Taupo road was (in large sections) unsealed. Have you got fishing gear with you? Went for a fish last night on the Cam – no bites but I saw one, perhaps two.

    Been an aeroplane day today, working on it. I’m covered in oil and grease, and it feels great!!! EEZ needed new rudder cables and this was the first time they have needed to be replaced. Prick of a job – you need to have hands that are a quarter the size of mine, plus they need to be twice as strong. Still, success – they are installed, they work and Evan the engineer is thus pleased. Tomorrow is about fitting the new exhausts (4 short pipes), and a trial fit of the new engine cowling. Plus a clean – Evan’s hanger is used by every nesting starling in North Canterbury (plus their mothers), and poor old EEZ is liberally covered in bird shite. We’ll also do some engine runs after an oil and filter change. I quite enjoy tinkering I have decided – and its good to have an engineer overseeing my work. There have been only two “you gotta be kidding” (s), mainly around my lock wiring (everything is lock-wired), and on the second one, Evan simply snipped it all off with a curt “do it again – Jesus”.

    Cush is well and all the Xmas shopping is completed. The tree looks good, and Andy’s job is OK – he was a bit worried because of some sort of muck up the management had made.

    much love

    C&T

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