Post Ride Day 5 Fri 2/3. Whitianga – Auckland – Melbourne

Finished cleaning the riding and camping gear and managed to squeeze everything back into the pack, then off to complete the circuit around the lower Coromandel.  Todays road made yesterdays look almost straight by comparison and set new standards for narrowness.  If you were on a bike on this road you’d be scraping your handlebar on rock walls in spots.  I thought I’d read about this as a riding route but it would be VERY challenging – some ridiculously steep hills and being passed by a mini would even be terrifying in some places.

Some spectacular view points crossing the ranges but the views generally less impressive than on the seaward side of the peninsula and not helped by grey skies with the next storm system bearing down.  Finally broke out into flatlands south of Thames and from there it was a pretty quick drive through to the airport.

Check-in staff were suspicious of the way I was leaning at a 45 degree angle with the weight of my carry on day pack and insisted on weighing that before weighing my main bag.  It was right on the limit but my main bag was 2kg under!  Don’t know if I’ll ever live down the shame of not fully utilising my weight allowance! And I’d left my sandals in a bin somewhere in the suburbs of Auckland – though no amount of cleaning was going to get them to the point where a diligent customs officer would ever let them back into Oz.

Take off was late and the storm was settling in when we finally took off, and flight was further delayed as we took a path toward Sydney to avoid the worst of the storm before turning for home

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