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Friday, 17 November 2017

Summer's here! (well, almost)

Friday morning, all the main chores completed yesterday and it's sunny and warm.  Jennie is off into the village to have coffee with a girlfriend so it's the perfect opportunity to jump on the bike for a couple of hours.  The leathers have already been cleaned and conditioned in anticipation and today is the day!

Tomorrow, I have to ride to Auckland to carry out some coaching so today, I just want to be alone with my thoughts and take in the scenery but where to go?  I know!  The last time I headed north up the Peninsula from Coromandel, it was over 2 years ago when I took the spirit of the late Canadian moto-blogger, Bob Leong in the shape of  ScooterBob, his wooden scooter to see the places I love.  That part of the story is HERE .  I'd been thinking about Bob recently so it seemed a good time to revisit some of those places.

The twisty road north of Coromandel is light of traffic apart from the main holiday season and being a weekday, it was virtually empty apart from the odd local.  First stop was Waitete Bay.  One of the Peninsula's best-kept secrets, it's about a kilometre down a dirt road.

Waitete Bay

There are a handful of houses at the bay but most of them are holiday homes.  Wherever the permanent residents are, they're certainly not on the kilometre-long beach 'cos I'm the only one!

Not exactly over-populated!

Handy helmet stand

Next stop was the Colville General Store for an ice cream.  It's the only shop and fuel stop for about 30 km and carries all sorts of things to meet the daily needs of the alternative lifestylers who inhabit the area.  Not quite "Deliverance" country but getting that way with a few communes and a Buddhist retreat in the area.

Calling in for some banjo strings.....


Buddhist shrine by the roadside

Next stop was Colville Bay, a couple of km up the road.  The shallow bay is a trap for whales and sadly, mass strandings are not unknown.  Today, the tide was out and again, I was the only person there.  So nice to just stand there and appreciate the beautiful scenery.

Colville Bay - tide is way out

The coast is dotted with small islands which provide a great location for sheltered fishing.  Tomorrow, there will quite a few boats out in search of snapper and kingfish.

The Happy Jacks and other nearby islands

Stopping just a few hundred metres short of home, I notice that a Pohutukawa tree (also known as the NZ Christmas Tree) is coming into flower so stop for a photo op.  In another week or two, millions of these trees will be covered in bright scarlet blooms; an overwhelmingly beautiful sight.

McGregor Bay - where we live

Pohutukawa coming into bloom

The ride only lasted just over 2 hours but boy, was it good for the soul.  Amazing what a bit of solitude, spectacular scenery and a motorcycle does for the spirit!  So nice to think about Bob Leong again too and how much he'd have enjoyed being here.