Sunday, November 9, 2008

Colemans Suzuki with Kaiaua Fish and Chips

It was time for another Colemans Suzuki Mystery Cruiser Run and a number of bikes (70 or 80) lined up at Gundry St, which is just off K' Rd in Auckland city. I tried to count them, but bikes kept arriving and I gave up trying to keep track. All sorts from Hyabusa's to M and C109's to adventure bikes to 250's. Mostly cruisers. We set off for lunch at the Seaview Hotel in Kaiaua although that was a 'secret' until we got a bit further down the route. The numbers had an immediate impact, with the traffic lights of K' Rd breaking up the big group. Eventually this meant that people got separated and 'lost' and not all of the group got to go down Deerys Rd to the very nice and hidden away regional park at the end. There were a few freedom campers down there too, and the ranger arrived - probably heard his vehicle counter go off 50 times and thought WTF. I must admit I have been on that Kawakawa Bay to Kaiaua road a number of times over a number of years and never actually ventured down there. And there was the bonus of riding on a gravel road and getting the bike and clothing dusty - I say bonus...

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The ride was fairly 'cramped' because of the numbers, at a fairly sedate speed, which turned some riders off, but its a great feeling riding in convoy and we were in a wonderful part of the country - riding along Maraetai Beach, then the Clevedon area, Kawakawa Bay and over the winding hill to the Seabird Coast. And of course the ride along to Kaiaua for lunch - where the Best Fish and Chip shop in the World happens to be.

After lunch we headed out to see the Mangatangi Dam. Unfortunately the gate was shut, so we got a little 'adventure riding' and some more dust in our clothes.
A short stint on Hwy 2 and then we cut back towards Hotel Du Vin, eventually coming out at Bombay and running to Drury to the Two Fat Cows restaurant. It was definitely time for a beer!

Great day, thanks Matt and Alistair for organising a fun - albeit slow - ride on some excellent roads through some wonderful country-side with some great people.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Apostles

I have been to the Apostle Islands in Wisconsin, USA, and recently we visited the 12 Apostles in Victoria, Australia. Here is a short video clip taken from the viewing platform looking east at the start and then panning around to the west.

Getting there was half the fun, with a trip along the Great Ocean Road.

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The Apostles are at point "D" on the map above.

We stopped at Apollo Bay for some lunch at the Bay Leaf Cafe, which was very nice. The trip back through Colac was fairly uneventful - we were looking for native Australian fauna - and did manage to see the odd Magpie, a couple of Kookaburra's, Rosella's and a flock of Galah's. We didn't see any Kangaroo's or other iconic animals like that except the day before, our trip down to Phillip Island where we saw Kangaroo's in a fenced off area of the race-track, and Koala's in the Phillip Island's Koala Conservation Centre.