|2014-10-22 click for more photo's|
22/10/2014 Whakahro – Mangapurua Landing (Bridge to Nowhere)
A very beautiful ride indeed. We started relatively early when everything was still covered in dew but the sun came through soon and burned off the mist. It was a glorious ride but it soon turned into a tough one. Once we had ridden up the farm track which was very muddy in places the going got really tough going up a single track. It took us two hours to climb up to 300 meters (from 130m) Often my heart was in my mouth. It was really scary skidding in the mud with some significant drops. If you fell they wouldn't kill you but they would certainly hurt ! Carrying panniers was a real pain because you frequently couldn't take the line you wanted for fear of bumping into the sides with your bags. I was glad I was wearing a long sleeved tee shirt when I brushed too close to the side and ripped it on a rock. That would have been my skin otherwise! Malc was very conscious of the time we were supposed to be at the landing where we would be picked up by the jet boat so I just about scoffed down an apple in a five minute break before we pushed on. Luckily the track improved significantly right up to 600 metres and we sailed up. It was the same for the first part of the way down and we thought we would arrive well ahead of time. Until it all changed to single track again. With a dry track and no panniers it would have been fantastic but as it was it was slow going. Lots of really narrow bridges to cross, almost impossible with our fully laden bikes and a number of obligatory walking sections because of steep drops. Malc went ahead to try and catch the jet boat at the arranged time while I struggled on behind. Very tired and hungry . The track ends at Mangapurua Landing which is just a large rock jutting out into the river against which a boat can moor. A 15 minute boat trip downstream took us to the lodge which is completely isolated with only the river for access. Luckily when we eventually got to the lodge there was a big starter and main meal to fill us up. All in all it had been an outstanding day cycling ( with the trail all to ourselves for the whole day) but we had just pushed it a bit too hard.
|Struggling over rock fall on a narrow path|