Monday, April 16, 2012

Days 62-65: Takapuna to Mataia to Ruakaka to Kerikeri

Getting Ready to Ride out with Dylan!
Thursday morning, we were delighted to get a text from our beloved Dylan, who is our World Vision contact, who has been our support and help throughout this entire trip... He was going to join us for part of our day going out of Auckland!  We always get excited when people join us!!!  So when he arrived at Tomas' house, we started north, which happened to be through the area where Dylan had grown up, so he knew the area well and was able to guide us around and we didn't have to worry about getting lost :)  He rode a little way with us, but had to eventually turn around and get back to work, and right when he did, the rain started!  But luckily it didn't last long.  There were about 5 sun showers throughout the day and we couldn't complain because they were basically enough to just cool us down, and then the sun would come out again...
Beautiful Rainbow!
The ride was quite an abnormal one.  We had 2 punctures, both on Sheree's back tire, bringing our puncture total to about 7, all but one of them being on that tire!  Then we stopped off in a small town, where they told us to look out for the multimillionaire's house on the way, where he has giraffes and water buffalo as pets!  We eventually found them, after staring at a giraffe statue way out in the field, wondering if in fact it was a giraffe or not... It turns out it was a statue, but we eventually saw the moving ones!  And then on the other side of the road, was the most perfect and beautiful rainbow I had ever seen! 
Mataia Homestead
After that, we got to our destination, which was called Mataia Homestead.  A wonderful lady named Jenny had given us this gorgeous house to stay in for the night.  It was surrounded by a beautiful garden and orchard, where we could help ourselves to the fruit and stay in separate bedrooms and even play the piano!  We watched "Once Were Warriors" which is classic Kiwi film that I had heard I had to watch, and we both bawled our eyes out for about half the movie, then went to bed early and woke up nice and refreshed and ready to hit the road again!

Friday we headed to Ruakaka, where we stayed with friends of Sheree.  It was a lovely family, that welcomed us and made us feel at home right away.  We had a great meal and relaxed and watched another movie that made us cry yet again (Sheree and I have both noticed that we've been extremely emotional on this trip!) and got to bed early again :)

Beach Day!
Saturday we kept on going to Kerikeri, where we were greeted by another Couch Surfer who was hosting us named Tom.  It was one of our longest days yet, riding 115kms from Ruakaka to Kerikeri, so we were dead tired when we finally got there.  But Tom made us feel right at home, and knew exactly how to treat us after a long ride, helping us relax and then we just chatted and had a nice dinner.  We enjoyed relaxing and chatting with Tom so much that we decided to stay another day, and give our legs a bit of a break.
Enjoying the water by the Stone Store
Sunday, our day of rest, we went to the farmer's market, then headed to the beach with Tom and his friend Garth and his son, where we attempted to go surfing!  But the waves weren't great and getting wet in the freezing cold water on a windy day didn't seem worth it if we couldn't surf the waves, so we just went for a walk along the beach and enjoyed the beauty of it.  Later, we went back to Garth's house, and had a nice coffee, and chatted about desserts for a really long time now that I think of it!  We invited them over for dinner, went home and then spent the rest of the afternoon in the kitchen, making up a nice big feed!  When Garth and the kids came over, we ate until we could eat no more, then played BOGGLE!  Boggle, if you know my family, is a favorite thing for us to do, so I really enjoyed it!  Then it was time to head off to bed again, so we could get back on the road again...

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