BAC New Zealand - 2015
February 9 - Dannevirke to Masterton
We had an interesting motel breakfast. It was cooked and served in a special room at the motel. We lined up for the buffet and took our food to our rooms. It was either that or eat at the picnic tables next to the cooking room. It was a bit too cool to eat outside. We have found that bacon is not cooked until it is crispy. I am thinking that bacon must be cured a different way than at home.
The sky was clear and sunny when I left. I was the last to leave because I can't seem to get organized in the morning. I rode along one of the state highways for a short distance and then turned off onto a country road. Scenery was much the same as other days - brown grass fields with hills on each side. This road meandered alongside a small river. Along the way I stopped to watch dogs herding sheep from one meadow to another.
Back on the SH, it was raining. I don't like riding in the rain so I stopped at the Tui Brewery to wait it out. Other people from the ride were doing the same thing including Ann and Asbjorn. As I was finishing my long black coffee, the rain stopped. I left riding solo again.
On my way up the hill to my next stop, the wind dramatically increased from the side. I had to stop a couple of times because it was blowing me off of the road. I saw it blow Chuck Jackson into the brush and perpendicular to the road.
The Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre was my lunch stop. There was a nice cafe there and some of our riders were already there. The sanctuary is very popular having a nature walk where you could observe kiwi birds and other wildlife. I didn't go on the walk because it was getting late into the afternoon and I still had a long ways to go.
Sitting in the café I watched another rain storm blowing through. After a while, it let up and I decided to get back onto my bicycle. I teamed up with Germain Berube who is one of the French Connection from Quebec. He and I are close to the same age and have a similar riding style. Germain has traveled all over the world. In the 70s, he and his wife decided to travel from Europe to India taking 2 1/2 years. They even traveled into the "stans" on their way. They finished their trip flat broke and returned to Canada to start over.
When we crested the hill a few short kms from the sanctuary, the wind had shifted in our favor. With Germain on my tail, we had a very fast descent to Masterton averaging around 40 kph.
I met Ann at the Masterton Motor Lodge . She had been there for a while and had a good swim in the pool. We had a large suite which was fortunate because the social hour was inside and outside of our room on the patio.
For dinner, we joined Clarice Sackett, Chuck Jackson form Woodenville, WA, and Janet James and Lance James from Tempe at The Grill at Solway Park at a hotel next to ours. Ann had roasted chicken with a sauce of figs and apricots. I had pan fried grouper. Both meals were excellent.