Still Up, Up and . . . UP
8/5/12 - 8/5/12 18 °F
It started to rain shortly after leaving Auckland and only got steadier and heavier. By the time I reached Wangerei (about 120 km north of Auckland) it was a full-scale "gale," as the Kiwis like to call it, complete with 30 mph headwinds and driving rain. Fun stuff. Try doing that at 80 km over and around a major mountain with tractor trailers coming at you. I am completely amazed at the amount of big rigs that came down towards Auckland from Northland. I have to admit to being a bit uncomfortable when passing those suckers as they motor down the mountain with the momentum that comes from carrying a full load and the knowledge that they have to go back up! My knuckles are still sore.
I pulled into Paihia, a coastal town on the craggy coast of Northland, at about 4:15 p.m. with a soggy welcome. It's still pouring. I ducked out to go to the grocery store for provisions and have not left the cozy and charming "en suite" at the motel since. The hostess here has been the polar opposite of my hostesses in Auckland, friendly and welcoming. No glass and steel here. Just a quaint little village flanked by a sheer cliff on one side and the churning ocean on the other. I so hope the weather clears enough tomorrow for me to get some pictures and get to go on the horse trek I booked. It's supposed to be 4 hours of horseback riding up the mountain and into the red wood forest. I can't imagine that will be much fun in the pouring rain though, so let's hope for a little break. I can handle drizzle, even a light rain is tolerable, but this is a deluge and I'm not interested in swimming on a horse. We'll see. I have to head back on Thursday by noon, so let's hope it can happen.
Getting ready to call it a night - I'm shocked that I'm this tired but I guess gripping a wheel for 3 1/2 hours takes a toll. Tomorrow is a new day and hopefully a new adventure. More then.