Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Annual Trip, Day 4. Charlotte the Queen.

Monday dawned very nice, and so, sans Alistair (rest day for him) at 9ish we met the others at the bottom of our street in cars and Nelson and me led the way around QC drive, through Linkwater, to Anakiwa.  Parked up, saddled up and got riding, seeing a german dude with a good beard head off ahead of us.  Marie had gotten a good start on us all, and Nelson and me put on the chase.  Passed the bearded German (also saw him several more times over the day), then it was a long time before we caught Marie, her speed having increased over the course of the days of riding, but catch her we did, before Davies Bay.  From here the real climb started.  Nothing technical, but admittedly a lot more interesting than I'd expected.  Eventually a high lookout point was reached where Nelson, Pete and me rested a bit, and Marie arrived very shortly thereafter and continued on through.  Rested a little longer then hit the trail again, catching Marie at some stage not too far after, where a few little downs were interspersed with the odd up section.  Here we were sidling across a face around 200m above Onalau Bay, crossing across the top of some farm(ish) land and in and out of regen manuka bush.  Eventually a sweeping downhill was given us, including Waima Way, blasting us down to the Mistletoe Bay Road, which we followed up to the Te Mahia Saddle. 

Small regroup, then blazed down the road, around into Te Mahia bay, through the roadworks and down to the resort.  Early enough to grab a coffee (Pete, Nelson, Marie and me).  While we were enjoying these, the others arrived, and then the boats hove into view and so we all raced down to the wharf.  The boats saw us and came in and the usual went on the big boat and the rest of us went on the fun boat.  Lovely day on the water, and in no time we were in Portage examining the ridiculous prices for some fries or wedges...  Muggingsly we paid it and ate, said goodbyes and thankses to Trev and Steve and wound our way up the few hundred metres of road to the Torea Saddle. 

Hot sun, steep track, we ground our way up it, riding a bunch then walking when riding was no longer feasible for lungs or legs or both depending on which was pushed hardest.  Zig and zag, up and up, met the bearded German near the top about to enjoy the downhill.  Eventually what seemed to be the top, wasnt, brief respites and eventually what was the top was reached, 407m.  From here it switchbacked steeply down then rocket propelled us across the 180 ridge, then grassy climb began again.  Lots of speed and fun on the way down, not so much on the way up.  Back up to, eventually, nearly 400 again, and the final descent to Te Mahia Saddle, more steep ass switchbacks, which we were sure Alistair would have overcooked off of several.  The bearded German arrived from the road from Portage, and got ahead of us.  We swapped leads with him a few more times over the next couple of kms.

Back up Waima Way, and moseyed our way back along the sidling face enjoying the downs, and not so much the ups.  Finally, the big descent arrived and I sat right on Nelson's tail and we shredded it.  Careful round each corner for walkers, but ripping the straights, we met none.  Some features of this track were awesome.  Eventually, Davies Bay Umangata arrived and there were a few more climbs and descents before the last kilometre descent.  Into the water, legs soaked in nice cold sea, then a quick swim back.  Only Nelson, Marie and me went in the water.

Home to base, and eventually to mussel dinner at the Havelock Pub.

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