Due to differences in timezones, and despite being away from home for over a week this was my first Thursday in New Zealand and also my first point to point fully loaded cycle ride.
After a rather wonderful breakfast of poached eggs, bacon and toast washed down a large coffee I set about packing and repacking my bike. I have more stuff with me this time including a whole stash of goodies from Auckland based Solo clothing samples for the Prompt.cc shop and a foldable bike bag for the bus trips.
First stop of the day was at National Park at just under 40 km where I got chatting to a Kiwi who was cycling from the North to South over an 8 week period. He did not seem to impressed by the fact that I was using buses to get about.
The route to Lake Taupo was stunning and I finally got a glimpse of Mount Ruapehu as the day finally cleared a little of the clouds and rain.
Lunch (bought in Ohakune and also supplied by Mrs Gaskell in the form of caramel slices) was taken overlooking Lake Taupo and followed a long and slow climb sometimes approaching 12 percent. When you are fully loaded there is no choice but to sit in the saddle and spin away.
Lake Taupo is truely stunning and continues for as far as the eyes can see. After lunch I cycled down to Turangi my base for the night and a backpackers delight with loads of cheap and colourful accommodation to choose from.
Tomorrow I head for New Plymouth on the bus. A bit of a rest day before the Taranaki Cycle challenge.