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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.

24 comments:

  1. I went riding today too. To work...

    Well at least the weather seems to be coming right. Actually road 4/5 days this week and could've done 5/5 except I needed the car one day.

    Still think you should've carried on to Port Jackson...

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  2. Hi Andrew,
    What's work? Oh, I know.... the thing which stops you riding all day, every day ;-)

    Yeah, looks like a great few days coming up. The CEO is putting the hard word on to go fishing a couple of days next week as the tides and times are spot on. Might be able to squeeze a ride in though with permission!

    Would happily go up a bit further to Fletcher Bay if I had a nice adventure bike, ot even something like a DT175!

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  3. These are just the pictures I needed, Geoff. Sun, sand, beach, and a good ride. Weather over here is just the opposite, first snow on the hills, trees shrouded in mist, and temps around freezing point. Bob would have loved to take his signature footwear a.k.a. crocs to the beach. He was a warm weather person for sure.

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    1. Hi Sonja,
      The long range summer forecast for NZ is apparently for a good one! Let's hope that your winter is kind to you. Yep, Bob would have loved the laid back Kiwi lifestyle as Canadians seem to have a similar approach to life.

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  4. Warren Mallett has left a new comment on your post "Summer's here! (well, almost)":

    Beautiful part of the world :)


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    1. Thanks Warren. It is beautiful where we live but as you know from all your travels, there are stunning spots all over the world. Just hoping to see as many as we can without bankrupting ourselves :-)

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  5. Hi Geoff

    Loved the “that aint working” blog. I did try the “Money for nothing and the chicks for free” path in the sixties but sadly can remember nothing about it – yeah right! (That’s what I tell my Minister of finance, anyway).
    Your latest shows again how lucky you are to live where you do and do what you do – lovely evocative photographs and nice memories of the little wooden scooter. I could almost hear the “dang a dang dang dang” of a blue mountain banjo coming from the pic of Colville Store and the Buddhist shrine is something else - Nirvana indeed. However, including a pic of a pohutukawa is bordering on the sadistic as we are starting our winter here and, although the temperature is kept mild by the gulf stream, the garden is blown flat and early winter storms makes a beach visit feel like you’re being shot blasted.

    Oh! Go on then – put up more pics of NZ flowers and the giant fish that will probably jump into your lap unasked, next week. You can even dot it with the odd bike picture - if you must.

    Kindest
    Nick in Guernsey

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    1. Hi Nick,
      "Yeah right" for me too! Being painfully shy in those days, it was all inside my head :-) . Well, it's nice that the good weather is here and with the predictions of a good summer, it could be a great few months. Are you still planning to come to NZ and if so, have you got any firm plans yet? Would still love to have you come and stay if it's all go.

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    2. Hi Geof

      Yes we are still intending to get to NZ next year. However, Irene’s arthritis has flared up badly again in her knees. One knee has just been injected with hyaluronic acid in the hope that it will avoid the need to have a knee replacement. There has been slight improvement (reduction of pain) and we are hoping that the injection in the second knee will help still further – Irene turned down my offer of trying Castrol R so if the improvement is insufficient we will have to postpone NZ until the queue for an op reduces and we see how long recovery takes. We are naturally keen not to leave a trip too long as other bits may drop off either of us. My wallet has already suffered a prolapse having started to fund a rebuild of the rusting hulk of my 1961 1275 Cooper S. Everything is scarce for the Mk 1 minis now with a rusting twin carb air filter box (just the pressed steel box not including the carbs) going on e-bay for over £150. I will be looking for some free Snapper meals when I get to you.

      I will let you know any progress on our trip when Irene's prognosis becomes clearer. We may have to be dragged around Coromandel on a double Gurney – a large fresh water fish not unlike a Snapper, I understand!

      I, too, was shy in the sixties but luckily for me not all the girls were and, without appreciating it at the time, I had the knack to laugh them into love. Thankfully Irene still laughs but is careful not to hurt her knees so doing.

      Love and laughter to you and Jennie

      Nick in Guernsey

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    3. Sorry to hear about Irene - Jennie and I can both sympathise about creaky bits! We haven't had anything drop off yet and are desperately trying to age disgracefully - well, me anyway! Just keep us up with the play and looking forward to meeting up in the flesh (so to speak) at long last.

      Hahaha - then we both applied the same approach! I'm still quite reserved but also find that humour helps me in that respect. Take care both....

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  6. Gorgeous photos Geoff. You sure do live in a pretty area.

    Nice find on the helmet stand too, made for great photo composition. :-)

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  7. Thanks Brandy. It is indeed pretty but we tend to hide out at home on public holidays when the Peninsula gets over-run by holidaymakers, many of whom should never hold a driving license :-) .

    I thought the old stump was a nice stand too but I should really have checked the helmet for spiders and other creepy-crawlies afterwards. All was well though!

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  8. Hi Geoff
    Deserted beaches, mid week rides with deserted roads, you live a hard life my friend! I could hear banjos playing when I was there too, but it was louder down Andrews way.

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    1. Hi Steve,
      Yeah, doing it tough mate! I think banjos must be the instrument of choice in both NZ and OZ back country :-) . No riding today - going fishing, haha!

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    2. Only 'cos a lot of the banjo players have gotten themselves eaten up Geoff's way...

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    3. Hahahaha - that's true! We prefer to travel in pairs to be really safe north of Coromandel :-)

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  9. Beautiful pics Geoff and I think that I will follow suite tomorrow and take a little ride as well. I like the Kawasaki colours on your helmet!

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    1. Thanks Jules,
      Summer is finally here! Enjoy your ride. When I was looking to buy the GT Air, then intent was to go for blue as that's my normal colour of choice. However, the white and green with gold pinstriping looked so good in the flesh that it picked itself!

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  10. Beautiful place, I feel at peace just looking at the photos.

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  11. Thanks Warren, you've hit the nail on the head!

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  12. Oh bugger Geoff - those photos make me quite homesick......

    It'll pass.

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    1. Hahaha - I'm sure it will pass Jon, especially as WA has its own stunning flora and ocean. Bit hot for me out your way though :-)

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  13. Starting to feel the heat myself these days. The missus gave up on the heat years ago and would love to move across to NZ, or maybe Tasmania, but, we couldn't near replace what we've got here, over there.

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  14. Likewise Jon! First rain today for a few weeks, but nowhere near enough. Temperatures in the high 20's C are ok though. Yeah, glad we bought where we did, when we did. Mind you, we said when we retired that we'd get a single storey house on a small, level easy care section close to a city and medical facilities. Ended up with the polar opposite and have been blissfully happy!

    Merry Christmas!

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