We talked to Mitch on Skype this morning, lovely to catch up with news after a week or two. Don’t really get a chance just to chat on RPG mornings (well, ok, RPG evenings in the UK)!

The weather was lovely on the Kapiti coast, but still nasty up North. I had a look at the forecast and decided Friday would be a good day for the return trip from Waiouru. Texted Amelia and let her know.

We set off instead on a bike ride to Paekakariki to have a more in-depth looksee – didn’t take long, and still not that impressed – then on to Plimmerton. A bit like Babbacombe beach/harbour, but more houses, sunshine and without the steep cliffs!


What a gorgeous little bay there! The beaches are pretty good and the houses look extremely expensive!

We rode to the south end of the inland lake to Pauatahanui, following a Ute with no petrol cap. I didn’t notice the first spill, but rode through the second corner spill and saw it spraying everywhere on the thrid corner! I tried flashing the owner – difficult to do on amotorbike I can hear you thinking, but I meant the headlights of course – but he was determined to drive on regardless of his ever-dwindling fuel load. We stopped for coffee in Pauatahanui and then rode off to have a look at the Upper Hutt City Centre in the Hutt Valley.

Nice shopping centre, and maybe worth a trip back if we’re bored of Wellington, but otherwise a small city centre if you know what I mean.

Louise remembered seing a sign on the road to the Rimutuka Road towards Kaitoke for a place called Tunnel Gully (a recreational area), so we thought we’d go have a look. The road turned into gravel halfway there, and nice sharp hilly turns but the mood was with us. As it turned out, I’m glad we persevered. There was a lovely picninc area at the end of the road. We found the tunnel, an old railway tunnel through the mountain range.

Tunnel Gully picnics (3) Tunnel Gully picnics (6)

The tunnel was long, very long…… we didn’t even see the alcoves dotted along its length the first time we went through. It was very spooky to see them on the way back through, they were even darker than the main tunnel! Don’t let the 2nd photograph fool you, the flash was extremely bright – we couldn’t see a damn thing!

Tunnel Tunnel (2)
We decided to take the Akaratawara Rd back to the west coast – it’s quite a road, so we stopped at the summit for a break. We were gazing at the view, having pulled up alongside a camper van. Nothing unusual in a camper van parked up, but then a guy came out and started chatting followed by his wife. We chatted to Eddie & Rose for nearly an hour swapping map details (he mentioned the Cave Beach, Forgotten Hghway and the blue/green/black lakes around Rotorua). He’s ex-Dutch, she’s ex-Maidstone who came over to NZ with her parents when she was 11. They travel all over in a camper, have done Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia and all sorts. Nice people, who live in Napier. We picked up their details and a promise to call them if we were ever around Napier and pop in for a coffee, or the night, and a tour around Napier proper. Lovely surprise!

We took it nice and easy back down the other side into Waikanae and headed home.

Category: Emigrating
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