Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Tawa to Plimmerton

On Saturday, I had to deliver something to an address in Tawa, so we combined it with a bike ride. We biked from Takapu Road – the start of Te Ara Tawa – to Tawa Station, where we crossed the station overbridge to get to the main road, and then up the hill to make our delivery.

Across the Tawa station overbridge … (photo by John)

… and up the hill (photo by John)

Then along the main road to the Grasslees Reserve, where we returned to the Tawa cycle track.

John likes this photo of me “tearing around the corner” (not really "tearing"!) … (photo by John)

As we were pedalling alongside the Porirua Stream, we noticed the line of debris that marked the height of the recent flooding. On Thursday the Porirua area received a huge amount of rain in a short space of time (36 mm in an hour), causing flooding in the city centre and elsewhere, and obviously the Porirua Stream was running much higher than usual. 

The smudge of grassy debris on each side shows the level of the recent flooding (photo by John)

The flattened grass on the opposite bank is evidence of the flooding (photo by John)

At the Porirua end of the Ara Tawa track, John made a mistake in getting across to the other side of the stream. He went across the wrong bridge, and we ended up walking our bikes on a very narrow “footpath” between a wall and parked cars, and then having to walk across the grass to get to the streamside track. He must have had a brain fade!

Walking down the bank to get to the track next to the stream

Since we couldn’t go to the Gear Homestead café (it’s closed on Saturdays), we carried on towards Mana, to Ruby’s Café, for lunch.

View over Porirua Harbour, from the motorway overbridge at Paremata

Reading the paper while waiting for lunch at Ruby’s Café (photo by John)

After lunch we continued a short distance to Plimmerton. The view along the water’s edge was stunning.

Looking towards Hongoeka Bay

John in photographer mode

On our way back, instead of going on the off-ramp bridge over the motorway at Porirua, we took the track that carried on alongside the motorway. Here too we encountered evidence of flooding, as the track ran below earthworks, where mud and debris had swamped the path. In one place it was nasty enough for us to have to carefully walk our bikes around a very squishy patch of grass.

Mud from the earthworks on the track (photo by John)

At the end of this, the track goes through an underpass to Porirua Station. It skirts the Kenepuru Stream which also showed evidence of the recent floods, with debris hanging on the barrier.

More flood debris by the Kenepuru Stream (photo by John)

Once we got back onto Te Ara Tawa, it was all smooth riding again. All up we rode 31 km. A pleasant, undemanding ride.

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