Michael J Breen
We got off the ferry, headed north and stopped a few kilometers up the road at the Kohukohu pub and cafe for brunch. A relaxing half hour was spent chatting over our coffees and pies while Rob and Kel tried to figure out where Neil was.
Neil had come up from Auckland but we had missed each other at the start. He’d been quite close behind us but on a slightly different route. That had bought him into Rawene just in time to see us pulling out into the harbour on the ferry. At the Kohukohu bar and cafe, we finally made contact and found that Neil was on the next boat. Heading back to the ferry landing we waited in the sunshine until he arrived. Neil was riding his Africa Twin (AT) so that made three with Rob and Kel plus Mike Beuker was riding the spawn of AT, a Transalp.
Heading East towards Warawara Forest we enjoyed winding sealed roads and continued on at a relaxed pace with some position swapping from time to time. The idea was to see if we could access the coastal forest road north of the Hokianga inlet and ride up the coast. We rode through Panguru, turned a little south on Windy Hill Rd toward Rangi Point and stopped for a rest.
The gravel road around the north side of the Hokianga Harbour was pretty good but damn dusty! Apparently there had been no rain for weeks. To escape the dust add much as possible, you either had to ride real close to the bike in front or lag way behind. It only helped a little though and soon we were all covered in dust but happy to be exploring these roads. After our stop on Rangi Point Rd, we hit the forest and found ourselves riding on a white gravelled road that was fairly well swept. Speeds were higher and the tone of the ride changed noticeably from that of the tar seal sections preceding.