Monday, 23 November 2015

Porirua to Pukerua

Last Monday, 16 November, we went for a ride from Porirua to Pukerua and around about. We parked in Parumoana Street, and got onto the walking/cycle path that would take us across the motorway and towards Aotea. But first the track went underneath the motorway on-ramp, and there we struck a hitch. The tide was in, and the Porirua Stream was running high enough to cover the lowest part of the path. We weren’t sure how deep the water was, so we made a u-turn, and backtracked a bit so that we could cross the road above. When we returned later in the afternoon, the water had receded, but there was a drowned rabbit where the water had been. Good thing we didn’t try to ford the water earlier.

The Porirua Stream is tidal, and the tide was in (photo by John)

After that, it was a straightforward ride past Aotea and the Lagoon. Near the Papakowhai Reserve, John spotted a pair of paradise ducks with their brood of ducklings – beautiful little fluffy striped creatures.

A paradise duck and her ducklings (photo by John)

We stopped for lunch at The Big Salami in Plimmerton. The coffee and pizza were very good, but I found the picture of the Mona Lisa with a distinct five-o’clock shadow a bit unsettling.

Lunch under the gaze of Mona Lisa (photo by John)

Since we were riding the e-bikes, I was quite happy to ride the hill up to Pukerua. We even explored some of the streets behind the Archway Bookshop. On Rawhiti Road, in the direction of the coast, we arrived at a dead end with a sign towards “The Goat Track”. Luckily a woman loading her child into her car warned us that there were lots of steps further down, so we didn’t venture any further. In the other direction, we came to another dead end and a locked gate, overlooking a pleasant view over the hills to the south.

The southern end of Rawhiti Road (photo by John)

To return to Plimmerton, we rode up Airlie Road and down again on the other side to Karehana Bay. The climb to the top of the road really is about as steep as I ever want to bike up, even with an electric bike. I took note of the distances involved this time. From Whenua Tapu, it was 1.2 km to the top, and 1.7 km from the top to the bottom (this, because I had refused to bike up from the Karehana side last time we were in this area).

Back at Plimmerton, we indulged in a small, single-scoop ice cream cone from the dairy. Apart from the fact we enjoy eating them, these ice creams have become a standing joke between us and our friend Elaine. We say we just have to have one “for Elaine”…

On the way back to Porirua, we saw the same paradise duck family, but on the other side of the road, this time. We biked a total of 33 km on this ride.

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