Friday, May 23, 2014

Pakihi Track and a sore rear

Pakahi Track is one of the three Motu Trails available from the lovely little town of Opotiki.
There is the Dunes Trail which is a 22km return ride along the coast.
Followed by the Motu Road Trail which is 67km from Matawai through to Opotiki.
Next is the Pakahi Track which is a legendary Maori trail that later became a horse trail used by Europeans to cross the divide.
So at 8:00 this morning I piled into a shuttle with a group of 6 cyclists from Hamilton who were doing the trail. Two had already left at 6am to do the full loop up the Motu Road and were going to meet us at the the start of the Pakihi Track.
All our bikes were on a cool trailer and we headed up SH 2 towards Matawai about 1 hour or so from Opotiki.
From there we left the main road and started climbing up the Motu Road through some awesome countryside. As we left Motu (last pee stop guys was the cry). We left the metal and hit a single lane dirt road that wended its way up the hills. We stopped at what is known as the Boundary, the dividing line between Opotiki District Council and Gisborne District Council.
Form there to the start of the Pakihi Track is a gentle ride of about 8km.
DSCF0712DSCF0713DSCF0714
The weather was pretty cold and it was starting to rain as we headed off but it felt great to be out in it and I was enjoying myself.
DSCF0715DSCF0716
At the turnoff we headed off down the trail and what an amazing trail it was, even with the wet conditions the track was great, no huge mud holes or puddles.
Just awesome 99.0% downhill and some fantastic vies as we followed the Pakahi Stream down the hill. The group decided not to call into the hut on the way which is a shame but I decided to stay with the group. So from there the track opened out more and we crossed the river to ride on the left hand side. WOW did that take a bit of getting used to. All the track so far had the drop off on the left and now it was on the right. Felt strange for a few km.
At one point I stopped to take a picture of one of the 25 bridges that we crossed and as I turned around there was a ute in the stream bed.
DSCF0732DSCF0733DSCF0734DSCF0735
I knew that we couldn't be too far from civilisation. But it was still a good half hour ride to the end of the track.
From the end of the track we headed back to Opotiki via the road. A single lane dirt road winding its way out and a 30knot head wind! Oh what a slog.
It was 23km from the end of the track back to Opotiki and it was a huge slog all the way back.
So as I sit here tonight writing this blog post, my rear hurts, my shoulders hurt, my hands hurt, my legs ache and I feel fantastic. I have achieved a huge ride today, got all the way home and I am absolutely over the moon to have ridden on of New Zealand’s top three rides!


So now the commercial moment.....

Motu Trails CardDSCF0739DSCF0740
I am currently parked in their yard and they are the most wonderful people. Wouldn’t give me the mop to clean up the dirt I left in the shower!
They run a shuttle service (very cheap and reasonable) at both ends if you want it as well as bike hire, again very reasonable. They also have a bike wash area and the most brilliant thing they have is the bunkhouse. For $25 per person per night (bed linen included) you can stay on site here. There is an awesome BBQ area and free showers and oh boy are they just brilliant!
It is just a 5min walk to the far end of town and it is a delightful little town, close to the beaches and rivers here.
I have had enough of the day now, I have watched the sun go down but couldn’t move to get the camera to take a picture of the wonderful red sunset! So a good day tomorrow.
Depending on how I feel I may do the Dunes Trail to stretch things out … or not….
Travel safe everyone!