Monday, 23 January 2017

Plimmerton and Airlie Road

On 5 January it was a sparkling, sunny day, but cool. We planned to bike from Mana to the top of Pukerua and back. We parked in the Ngati Toa Domain, and when unloading the bikes, we were surprised to find that the southerly was really strong still, and cold! Our house is sheltered from the south, so we often are not aware that it is still blowing.

We had not expected it to be quite so cold (photo by John)

We biked to Plimmerton’s Big Salami café, and had coffee and a small pizza – it was 3pm, a rather late lunch, but no matter. It was very nice, as usual. We were sitting the sun, and the wind wasn't too bad there.

Waiting for our pizza at The Big Salami Café (photo by John)

After that, rather than going down through the underpass below the Plimmerton Station on our way to Te Ara Harakeke, which would take us to the top of Pukerua, we thought we’d explore another road and headed up the hill by the roundabout – The Track, it’s called.

There are some lovely views from up there, overlooking the foreshore and out to the Whitireia Peninsula on one side, and Pukerua on the other side, and Mana Island in the middle.

The view towards the Whitireia Peninsula … (photo by John)

… towards Pukerua (photo by John)

… and out towards Mana Island

3a Roys Road, spelled out in paua shell beside a driveway

We meandered up and over and around, and eventually found ourselves on Airlie Road. We had ridden on this road before, in the other direction. This side of the hill was not quite such a killer as the other side, so we climbed to the top, and over the hill down to Whenua Tapu.

Climbing up the seaward side of the hill on Airlie Road (photo by John)

The view from the top of Airlie Road (photo by John)

From there we continued up Te Ara Harakeke towards Pukerua. But before we got to the top, John was feeling quite tired, and knowing we would have a headwind on the return trip, he suggested that we had done enough, and should turn around. The headwind wasn’t too bad actually. By the time we got back to the car, we had done exactly 15 km.

The track between Plimmerton and Mana (photo by John)

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