Thursday, 17 March 2016

The Landing(Whanganui River) to Ashhurst, Day 5

In the morning a couple of riders rolled by as I was packing up my tent and gear it was about 6.30am, they had come from just a few kilometres before the bridge. Once packed I headed down to the actual Jet Boat landing and now there were 4 of us waiting for a pick up at 7.30am, the Macpac girls arrived and they soon got onto a Jet Boat that was sadly not the same company we had booked with. Two more riders arrived and we stood around waiting and chatting about bikes and our trip so far, one had come from the Blue duck stating at 3am, great effort.
The boat was now late which was a little bit frustrating, I just hoped that they did turn up soon rather than the normal scheduled time of 9am. To my pleasure the Jet boat arrived at about 8am and we loaded up the bikes were soon on our way.
There were 6 of us now on the boat so it wasn’t too cramped like my Kaipara crossing, it was a nice trip down the river and it actually reminded me of some of my racing trips to china except it was much cleaner. I have never really been on a Jet boat trip before (to tight fisted you see) and this was definitely a nice place to be doing my first. Once at Pipiriki at 9am we all paid the driver cash and headed off on our way, there was a bit of toing and throwing along this stretch to Jerusalem but eventually I found myself in no man’s land again. Once In Whanganui I went in search of a Subway and had a bacon and egg foot long with all the salads and a Mochachinno. Off to the supermarket to stock up on fruit, muesli bars, hot cross buns and peanut M and M’s. Back to the route across the Whanganui River and straight into the Tunnel to the Durie Hill elevator, it was quite strange riding the 100 metres or so to the Elevator. 
It was a bit of a shakey trip and it seriously reminded me of the Christchurch Earthquakes and the operator was actually on the phone talking to someone about servicing the elevator, none of this allowed me to relax really. Once at the top I was slightly relieved and took in the views before heading off on the next section to Hunterville

It must have pretty uneventful as I really don’t remember it apart from it being pretty hot. At Hunterville I got tempted by an ice cream sign so I went in for a real ice cream this time but the shop seemed to be taking it’s time serving the few people ahead of me so I reverted to the old faithful Almond Magnum. Before leaving Hunterville I went to the public toilets and washed my spare set of cycle clothes and hung them out on the bike to dry and I was on my way. It was 144km to Palmerston north and I didn’t really know where I would get to that night. Early on I remember going passed Vinegar Hill which seemed like a beautiful spot on the banks of possibly the first clean river I had seen in the North Island but I was not stopping here sadly. At Apiti I was hoping to get a warm we meal but that was not to be on a Sunday night at 7.30pm. I met Dane Roberts from wave two we had a bit of a chat and a muesli bar or two and we headed off together but we parted ways pretty quickly. He had asked about the Totara reserve and that is where he was planning to stop for the night. It was about 9.30pm and well and truly dark by the time I got there but it did looks like a nice spot but again it was too early to be stopping for me so into the night I went.
Another night time photo

At some point I met some other riders that where having a secret rendezvous with a friend that had brought them hot food, I would have loved some but they didn’t offer. I don’t know who they were and I didn’t say anything about this, I did ask the guy that if he knew of somewhere good to pitch my tent in Ashhurst and he gave me a suggestion of the sports ground. Once in Ashhurst I headed for the sports ground and the end of town and went in and had a look, there had been someone in a in the car park so I was slightly apprehensive. I checked the Map Progress site and saw that two riders were staying just down the road. I went there to check it out, it was a hotel and a worker was just leaving so I asked him about staying, he said it would be $80. Considering I was only planning to stop my mandatory 6 hours I thought better of it and headed back to the sports ground. It got really windy through the night and it rained which hampered my sleep a bit but I was really impressed with my light weight Intents tent that I bought for $89 on Trademe brand new. A bit of a restricted day due to the Jet Boat therefore it was about 14 hours of riding and 260km, I really needed to make up for lost time from here. I couldn't wait to get to the south Island as there were no more restrictions that were out of my control.

1 comment:

  1. Those Almond Magnums must be the secret to these epic days; Eastwood's "Go Ahead. Make my Day" maybe?!