[Original post by Elliot Mogerman] – March 23, 2010 –
At Pickton we boarded the ferry to Wellington in the north island. The day in the south was sunny and clear skies. The north was supposed to be warmer weather than the south. But as every other time we leave a ferry it started to rain and was coldly overcast the next few days. The riding was still complimented by a moderately beautiful day of rolling of hills with vibrant green colors. Not as large as the mountains in the south but still wonderful. The roads were very curvy but since the Germans were with us we took them slower and it was nice. We passed some cows and bulls getting it on. I thought there might have been a shart on the bike but I lucked out and after a quick hand check at the next stop was well relieved. At the camp sight we went to subway for dinner but they closed at 8pm so we went to s pub and had the evening’s specials of pastas. It has been really windy and bullying me around on the streets. Stopped at a camp sight and the front desk told us to set up tents in the back to stay away from the highway noise. After the tents were set up a train blew by roaring right behind us.
In Wanganui we stayed with Abbo and Dale from the Triumph group. They drove us around showing us all the must see spots in town. The next day we invited some of the gang over and I cooked food on the Barbie for a dozen people. Dinner was steak, lamb chops, lamb sausage and other sausages, corn and my spicy prawns. After two days we bid farewell to our wonderful hosts and rode around the volcano to the west and ended up staying with Alan and Diane in New Plymouth, also from the Triumph Rally. The hospitality is wonderful and we cannot express our thanks enough. In a café while eating lunch we met a lawyer who rides a KTM as a hobby and invited us to his place for one evening to exchange stories. Mike and Leanne were wonderful and we spent a fun night answering questions and showing pictures. They plan on taking a similar trip through Europe on bikes, and hopefully we helped them a little.
In the morning it was pissing rain so we put on all of our gear and headed off to the famous forgotten highway. There was a little off-roading and then as I came around a turn I saw Mike’s bike was down and he was waving me to slow down. He crashed on a slick corner and his bike and him slid some ways. Once I stopped I whipped out the first aid and took care of his only injury, a cut up thumb. His jacket, pants, and glove saved his skin from the cheese grater road. Then we got his bike off the road. I jetted to the next town to procure a tow truck. While Mike was waiting a farmer came by and brought him coffee and biscuits and talked for a little while before going back to work. He also invited Mike to stay with him if I didn’t return. Shortly I returned with a tow truck and we took Mike’s bike to the motorcycle shop. His magnesium cylinder head was toast. They ordered parts and said it will be ready in two days.
So we rode two up with both of our gear on my bike to Dig’s country house in Te Apau which was 2 hours away. Dig is my favorite guy from the Triumph group. He took us around his town and showed us all the attractions. The lake, water falls, and rapids were beautiful. Then we stopped at a prawn farm and I tried golfing for cash prizes. Came pretty close to driving a ball in a cup 200 meters away. But close didn’t win me the money. I got to move cattle stock around a farm and we fed his pigs. At night we were stuck in a frost and it was super cold at below zero temperature. Once we bid farewell we went back to pick up Mike’s bike.
With both bikes working again, we rode to Tauranga in the bay of plenty. My high school friend Amy and her family moved to New Zealand 3 months ago and they were nice enough to invite us to stay with them a few days. It was amazing and fun. While we were catching up and I was entertaining her 4 kids, we went to a few beaches. We ate lovely fish and chips, Walked the geothermal sulfer pools, Went to an evening with the Mitai Maori Village for authentic night of Huka and traditional food. Then we visited shell beach which the name kind of says it all. But instead of sand it was all sea shells and really wonderful. Jody showed me how to surf fish but unfortunately we didn’t catch anything. And once I tried to cast but forgot to undo the line lock so the weight and hooks went flying into the ocean and snapped off the line. I made a bbq for the family as a thanks for letting me stay with them and I think they really enjoyed it. Today, leaving to Auckland to say goodbye to our German friends and then we finish the north part of the north island.