Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Mana to Pauatahanui

On Monday 11 September, it was a fine but windy day, so we decided on a short-ish, undemanding ride (17 km). We hadn’t biked to Pauatahanui for quite a while, so we parked at the Ngati Toa Domain, in Mana, and biked along the Camborne Walkway. The track was reasonably dry, and we didn’t encounter any people with pushchairs, so I ‘survived’ the track without taking a spill – as I did the last time we were here.

On the Camborne Walkway (photo by John)

We biked to Pauatahanui and had lunch at the Ground Up Café. We are always impressed with how quickly our coffees are delivered – the barista must be listening closely to the orders being placed, and putting them into effect immediately.

John’s hotcakes were beautifully presented – and delicious too (photo by John)

After lunch we looked into the saddlery and stock feed shop next door, and got talking to the young woman at the counter. She was interested in our SmartMotion bikes, as she said she worked a couple of days a week for Daryl Neal, from whom we bought these bikes, when he used to own Wellington Electric Bikes in Upper Hutt. He had a hand in designing the SmartMotions, but now concentrates on designing and building UBCO electric farmbikes, and she works on his web design. Thinking she would be a keen cyclist, I asked her what sort of bike she rode. Her answer was “I ride a horse”!

On the way back along Motukaraka Point, I noticed a layer of shells in the cut-away bank next to the road – a midden from long ago. This area was once an important Ngati Ira settlement. While John stopped to take a photo of it, we were hailed by a chap who had been sitting near his parked car, playing his ukulele. “I know you, do you write a blog? I recognised your bikes”. He said his name was Terry Casey, and he plays in Bluegrass bands in Upper Hutt pubs. We chatted, and then he played a little tune on his mouth organ. You do meet some interesting people while biking …

There are some nice gardens at Motukaraka Point (photo by John)

A midden – this area was once an important Māori settlement (photo by John)

A chat with Terry Casey, Bluegrass musician (photo by John)

There is a new stretch of track and boardwalk across some of the wetlands, which is very much nicer to ride on than the road (which is narrow and busy wih car traffic). It is a local Rotary project, and I hope that eventually the whole stretch between Motukaraka and the Camborne Walkway will be provided with a walking/cycle track away from the road.

The boardwalk across the tidal area (photo by John)

The tide was in and the wind was quite strong, causing wavelets to slap onto the road (photo by John)

Back at the Ngati Toa Domain, we thought we would go and look at the “beach that disappeared”. In April, a whole beach alongside the Mana Marina disappeared overnight. In the aerial photo on this website,  you can see the same brown yacht as in John’s photo, and you can see how large the beach was, which is now gone.

There was once a beach here … (photo by John)

A final pretty shot of the entrance to Porirua Harbour (photo by John)

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