I’m starting to wonder if Coromandel might not be Maori for “them heap big hills”.
Actually not big hills as such, but steep hills, and lots of hills.
The topography of the Peninsuala seems to work on this basis: town, steep hill up, steep hill down, town. Repeat.
As noted in an earlier blog, I kind of cooked myself on the first day, but after a couple of easy days around Hahei, although still feeling a bit poorly, we’ve managed to make good progress (about 60-70km per day) down the eastern side of the Peninsuala.
We made our way down to Whangamata on the first night and stayed at the very basic motor camp in town (would only recommend if you have to stay there), and despite what I have said above, there was lots of fairly flat riding on quiet country roads through some lovely farmland and coastline.
There is also a road sign on the Coromandel Peninsuala which you quickly learn to dread … It’s this one …
What? Why would I hate a caution cyclists sign (especially a cool one with Kingdom Of” added to it)?
Because they only put these in one location … At the bottom of a very steep hill to caution motorists about poor touring cyclists who will be slogging their way to the top slower than snails eat their breakfasts.
They’re a particularly painful sign when you first see them a kilometre or so away in the distance … up a hill … because you know that they don’t class the climb you see between yourself and the sign as part of the actual climb yet. Sigh.
The next day we made our way down to Katikati. The cycling was again very pleasant (though with one small climb and one large climb) to Waihi, but then we jumped onto a highway, and although it had a shoulder most of the time, it was still busy, unpleasant riding for the most part.
We ended up having Kim’s Favourite Chicken (KFC) for lunch, and if I haven’t mentioned it before, most of our food on this trip has been going to the local wildlife, in this case it went to the local dog (with dog owner’s permission)
However, just to prove my point have another look at these photos and notice the seagulls and ducks coming for their free feed from saint Kimber-Claus …
We finally found out the exact location of the water-park we had come all this way to visit at the Katikati information centre, and they were even able to give us a brochure for the place. What’s more it was right on our cycling route.
It was only several hours later as we lay beside the pool at the campground that night that we both gently worked our way around to saying what was on both our minds …
“It doesn’t look like there’s much there for adults does it?”
“Shall we give it a skip?”
Ah planning, where would I be with it?