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awa355

Coast to Coast Part 2.

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Coast to Coast part two.

As I left West Bank road I crossed the bridge and turned into East Bank road. Fuelling up at Edgecumbe, I was asked about the scooter. When I told the lady where I had come from and done she looked at me and said “ Fuck man, you must be fuckin crazy”. She was obviously educated in Edgecumbe.

My original plan had been to head off down through Murupara and back up to the Waititi valley. By this time I had been 24 hours without any sleep to speak of, so decided to head back through Rotorua and kip down at a friends place. I couldn’t get a reply from her, so headed towards Te Teko and joined sh30. The traffic was quite heavy at this time so Buggsy and I sat on the shoulder and let it all go by. Down by Lake Rotoiti, the eyeballs were dropping somewhat, so I pulled over at a small rest area and tried to catch some sleep. A logging hauler up on the hill behind the rest area was working and the continueous blasts from the air horns killed any idea of resting. On we went.

Coming along Te Nae road, I noticed the petrol prices were $2.02.9c. So of course, the service stn I stop at on Fenton st has petrol at $2.11.9c None of that ‘ cheap ‘ stuff in my scooter. As I entered the court yard , I noticed a some Highway 61 gang members and their bikes there. As there were only about 20 of them, Buggsy and I weren’t too worried. There were a number of women dressed in black as well, getting in and out of vehicles and they all seemed to be together. They could have been off to the Tangi of the chap killed at Te Papa a few days ago.

I had picked up a bit by then so decided to get back to my original plan. South out of Rotorua and onto the Atiamuri road. Turned left into the Whirinaki Valley road and aimed for Ngakuru. Some nice country through here. At the top of lake Ohakuri is a pleasant domain where I had thought I would get some sleep. Unfortunately, the ground was covered in a swarm of insects, Midges, I think. They covered the grass. Pushing on, I stopped for a photo of this end of the lake.

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From here Pautakataka road climbed and weaved through rolling country. The grassed hills with the outcrops of rocks interspersed with big gnarley Pine trees makes a change from the Waikato. Next road was Galatos rd. The surface is gravel untill the turn into Maleme road, which is also gravel, The difference being, the corrugations are a lot deeper. Particularly on the downward side of the hills and one is trying to apply the brakes. Here is a photo looking across the Atiamuri country taken from Maleme road. Incidently, Galatos and Maleme are names of places in Crete, that featured in the WW2 battle of Crete. Galatos was where my father was taken prisoner by the Germans.

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The peak just off centre will feature a bit later. The tail end of Maleme road reverts to tarseal. Left at the end takes us to the Ohakuri dam. There is a large grassed rest area by the dam so I tried to get some sleep. I may have dozed off slightly but not enough to revive me really. Many of the dams on the Waikato river are located in very scenic gorges. This was no exception.

Here is looking back up from the dam.

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Swimming thataway will take you to the Orakei-korako tourist spot. Geysers, tourist prices etc. Swimming downstream will take you through this sort of country.

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As swimming down the waikato river isn’t my thing, Buggsy and I cossed the dam and rode up to SH1. A couple of k’s along and we turned left into Tirohanga road. Here we get a close up of the rock outcrop from the Maleme road photo.

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This used to be covered in mature Pine trees, and as kids we wondered how anyone could get up there to cut the trees down. They did. This is all pine tree country. Tirohanga road runs along a beautiful valley which holds the Whakamaru hydro lake.
Towards the end of this road, just before Pohipi road is a side road where a sawmill operated for many years. Mokai. My family lived there in 1946/7. Very few buildings remain, but this house is still standing.

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The rest of my ride will come in another post.

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Updated 16th November 2013 at 07:11 by awa355 (spelling correction)

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