Saturday, 23 January 2016

Waikanae to Paekakariki and Pukerua to Tawa

Last Sunday, 17 January, we took the train to Waikanae with the e-bikes. As we started to wheel the bikes onto the train, the guard called out that we couldn’t get on as there were already three bikes in the allocated space. And there was only one carriage – because it was a Sunday, I suppose. However, we told the guard we could fold the bikes down. “Ah, that’s OK then”, he said. But he told us to get on board and then fold them, “or else we’ll be here all day”.

One of the folded bikes and a satisfied guard (photo by John)

We biked from Waikanae station, along the river track to Otaihanga, and on to Paraparaumu Beach, where we had a late lunch at the Beach Hutch, on the waterfront.

Lunch at the Beach Hutch, Paraparaumu Beach (photo by John)

We biked on the shared foot-and-cycle path along the waterfront, and through Raumati to the start of the new Ara O Whareroa. We rode this a couple of weeks earlier in the other direction, and entered it from the wrong place. This time we got to see where we should have started from that time.

The Poplar Avenue entrance of Te Ara O Whareroa (photo by John)

A lovely, sealed, meandering route through the dunes of Queen Elizabeth II Park (photo by John)

We diverted from the track to take a look at the historic tram – part of the Tramway Museum. It was not running and I understand that they have had a problem with their power supply, so it’s out of action until further notice.

The tram viewed from Whareroa Road, which the cycle trail crosses (photo by John)

The tram from closer up (photo by John)

Where the track finished, we rode past a building that had some interesting decorations on it. I think it was a sports pavilion. The decorations demanded to be photographed, of course.

A sports pavilion (I think) near the end of the cycle track (photo by John)

From here we biked to Paekakariki along The Parade, by the beach. We planned to take the train back to Tawa from there – or so I thought. We arrived just in time to see the 4:15pm train leaving. Oh, well, time for an ice cream.

By this stage we had biked 28 km, and that was plenty for me – I was happy to go home now. But John had different ideas. He thought we should take the train only as far as Pukerua Bay, and then bike back to Tawa from there. Oh, groan! “Come on, it's a lovely day, and we can do this. Or you can take the train home, and I will bike from Pukerua”, John said. Well, I couldn’t let a challenge like that go, could I?

So, we took the 4:45 train, and did get off at Pukerua. And we biked back to Takapu Road. It was warm, and breezy, and actually quite lovely to bike. We did not stop anywhere, and took no photos. It was after 6 pm when we got back to the car. I reckon my knees were squeaking by then – we had done 50 km.

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