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Touring Hawkes Bay

Scenic Beauty

We live in a very beautiful land here in New Zealand.  One of the main journeys for me is to take a trip to Taupo.  It is the next village on the way to Auckland.  We go through 150 km of hilly country with no towns or villages to get to Taupo.  It is considered a scenic route.

There is an alternate route that takes us to Taupo via Waiouru.  This route used to be a horrible way to travel North.  The surface was gravel, It was steep and narrow in many parts.  Now the road is sealed all the way.

Spring Comes to Hawkes Bay

Sometimes I am awoken by big machines thrashing the air with giant blades.  They sound like helicopters.  In reality they are large fans that blow air over the blossoms on the apple trees in the orchards around my home when it is frosty.  They start about 1 am.

My own apple tree is not blooming yet, but my three plums are almost done.

This is the plum tree that blooms last.  It also ripens last, as late as mid-March.  It is starting to fade, having just past its peak flowering.

The Peak of Walks

Today I had my bike booked in for a service.  That meant I had to walk.  The best walks in Hawkes Bay are on Te Mata Peak.  [That are easily accessible from Hastings]

So  I walked.  A most splendid walk too.  Let me show you.

The first thing I come across on my walk was a grove of gum trees!  Aussies!!!  I think gum trees will soon be "recognised"  as New Zealand Natives, there are so many of them here.

The path winds through some lovely secluded trees.


Usually, the journeys I go on with my bike bring me to much that is beautiful and stunning.  Today it was mostly exercise and fresh air.  I took fotos of things that I would not normally want to show.  So,  here goes

Todays journey was from my front door.  No lugging the bike on my car carrier.  No driving.  

I headed for Clive along the cycle track which begins about 2kms from my door.  Along the backs of buildings and properties until Clive.  Around Hohepa farm where I took the first foto.

An Ambitious Tour

Today [Friday]  I wanted to bike the longest circuit in the bike trail mosaic.  From the black Bridge over the Tukituki River, to the red bridge [on the Eastern side] and then back on the western side.  Total 32km.  Not all of the trail is trail. Quite a bit is on the road, and there are some hilly portions.  Thursday afternoon I drove most of the road part of the trail.  It looked OK.  Total according to the cars odometer 28km.

I set off about 8am on a lovely sunny day.

Te Awanga Trail

From Haumoana [yesterdays trail]  the journey follows the coast to Clifton.  On the way is the little village of Te Awanga.  This used to be the place to buy a house if you couldn't afford Hastings.  That has completely reversed.  Te Awanga is now very fashionable and expensive.

Te Awanga is next to a coast.  The view North towards Napier is somewhat cloudy and looks in part like rain in the hills.  Here in Te Awanga we have DRYYYYYYYYYY!

If you have a section with a view of the coast, you build upwards.

How is Haumoana?

Haumoana  [how-mow-are-nah] is a seaside village not far from where I live.  A bike trail goes right through the village and along the coastline to Clifton.  I rode the Haumoana trail this morning.  Here are some fotos.

The sign says "Clifton 8.7 km".  I am just going to ride to the Haumoana Shops 3.7 km.

If I go along this trail, I follow the Tukituki river into the Tukituki valley.  A beautiful ride, but set for another day.

The sky is beautiful, the waters calm and the sunshine still mild in the early morning.

Beautiful Hawkes Bay again

I rode on a long trail out past the airport today.  After a long ride along the foreshore the trail turns inland and then returns across the land that was raised in the 1931 earthquake.  There is still a small amount of swampland left to give a place for birds.  Then the track runs along a lagoon not far from the airport and next to the "Ahuriri Lagoon" which is in fact what's left of the old Napier Harbor.  It was really pretty so hence the fotos.

There is mown grass but also planting that keeps the water of the lagoon from going brackish.

Chris the Pipemaker

I busk at the Hastings Farmers Market.  I take my pipes with me, because playing them at the market helps me isolate anything that I want to improve in the pipe that I am playing.  It helps me judge the quality of the instruments I am making.  However I am a fiddler first of all and a pipemaker second.  So here's a foto.

I was playing some Appalachain cross-tunes music on the fiddle so I was feeling very cheerful.  They are unique.  And a lot of fun.

Here's a second foto.

Beautiful Hawkes Bay

Hawkes Bay is a great place to live.  Here is a demonstration.  We have a network of bike trails around the district.  Here are fotos of this mornings bike ride on one of the trails.

The path, on smooth limstone tracks, leads on across the plain.

Over there behind the trees is the Tukituki, a shallow river with a meandering stony stream bed.  Somebody has been removing gravel from the foreground.

A field of maize spreads out into the distance, swallowed by the horizon.

Mount Erin, with its TV mast, can be seen in the southern distance.
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