Whakatane, Opotiki, Te Kaha, Waihau Bay, Ruatoria, Tokomaru Bay, Gisborne

Gisborne Travel Blog

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Mount Maunganui

Well, after everyone in Tauranga said I shouldn't cycle from Tauranga to Whakatane I took the bus.....but infact the road didn't seem to be more dangerous then the ones I've ridden on the days before....however....

In Whakatane I stayed in a really nice backpackers (an old villa) and did a tour....swimming with the dolphins! It was a really good experience and we saw lots and lots of dolphins. However, as soon as we went into the water they just swam away so quickly. So we only saw them about 10 seconds. That's not what I expected and I've also been told from other backpackers who did it that they were staying with them....so that was not my luck.

At Mount Maunganui
...

The next day, I rode to Opotiki. As soon as I was on my saddle again my butt hurted soooo much I really started thinking of giving up. But fortunately, I was talking to this Swiss girl I met in Whakatane who used to work for Puma. So she advised me to buy a new saddle. In Opotiki the first thing I did was buying a new saddle which turned out to be the best decision ever!!!! I can now ride for 90km without any butt pain.....halleluja!

The road to Te Kaha was really nice to ride as there are hardly any trucks and cars around. I stayed in a kind of homestay hosted by a Maori family. It was really nice there and the people were sooooo extremly friendly. The "hostfather" greeted all with a "nose kiss", the way the Maori do it! When he realised I was cycling a part of New Zealand he really started talking to me.

Whakatane at sunset
It was a nice evening.

On Saturday, my way to Waihau Bay was easy. I really enjoyed it. But the place I stayed at was much to expensive for what I got.....well that's the eastcoast....you sometimes just have to take what you get as there is not much accomodation around. Another problem which I didn't expect to be a problem was the money....I was running out of cash and most of the backpackers here at the east coast don't have a credit card machine...

So on Sunday, the problem with the money became a really big one.......First I wanted to stay in Hicks Bay, 44km from Waihau Bay and the backpackers there didn't have any beds left. However, the really friendly Maori guy told me he could arrange a bed so I wouldn't have to sleep under the brigde :-) Well, the other problem was the cash.

Whakatane
.... The shopkeeper of the tiny little shop in the really little town of Hicks Bay was willing to give me cash from my credit card.....but of course my credit card wouldn't work! We tried it about 10 times and I even called the credit card company. The card was fine, they told me and there was nothing else to do than cycling to the town I knew had a ATM. The town was another 55km further on. To make matters worse, I had to climb over 4 big hills!! And to get me really really upset and exhausted god decided to give as a bit of rain. I was soaked, exhausted and there was no way of giving up because there was not a single town with accomodation in between. Finally, after 7 hours riding, I arrived in Ruatoria and checked in a really crapy hotel which was much too expensive once more..... However, I was soooooo glad I had a bed and a .....cold shower.
Whakatne almost night
....

The day after, I woke up and heard heavy rainfall.....sch..... well, I was lucky and the rain stopped as soon as I got on my bike. I had only to ride another 38 km to Tokomaru Bay....easy.... In Te Puia Springs a tiny little Maori village I stopped to buy a drink as I didn't trust the water from the hotel. It tasted somehow a bit strange..... The people in the shop were really impressed about me biking the east coast and talked to me and gave me some fruits for free....how nice!!!! Really, I cannot belive how nice the Maoris are! In Tokomaru Bay, I stayed at Brians Place, a really lovely backpackers with a great atmosphere and a incredible view over the ocean!!! I met a Canadian guy who was cycling as well and it was so nice to talk to him and share the experiences!

Today, I started cycling at about 8.

Dolphins
30am. My target was Gisborne which is 91km from Tokomaru Bay. The first 38km were so easy as the wind was my friend and blew in the direction which is was riding. In less than 2 hours I was in Tolaga Bay....wow, I did an average of 20km per hour!!!! However, the wind became once again my biggest enemy and was blowing against me the rest of the trip!!! Horrible! But the scenery was still really beautiful and in only 6 hours I finally arrived in Gisborne where I'm staying for at least two days to relax. 

I was riding for 6 days in a row and did 384.4km!!! I am really really proud of myself and I definetly improved my fitness a lot! 

 

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Mount Maunganui
Mount Maunganui
At Mount Maunganui
At Mount Maunganui
Whakatane at sunset
Whakatane at sunset
Whakatane
Whakatane
Whakatne almost night
Whakatne almost night
Dolphins
Dolphins
Dolphins
Dolphins
Dolphin
Dolphin
Dolphin
Dolphin
Hawai???
Hawai???
Hawai Beach....
Hawai Beach....
Somewhere between Te Kaha and Waih…
Somewhere between Te Kaha and Wai…
Maori Church
Maori Church
Waihau Bay
Waihau Bay
Tokomaru Bay...view from Hostel!
Tokomaru Bay...view from Hostel!
Tokomaru Beach
Tokomaru Beach
Tokomaru Beach
Tokomaru Beach
Tokomaru Marae
Tokomaru Marae
Beach in Gisorne
Beach in Gisorne
Bird...
Bird...
Gisborne
photo by: wendybodenmann