Saturday, 6 December 2014

Pukerua Bay to Tawa, via Pauatahanui and Whitby

On Thursday 27 November the Folding Goldies went on yet another adventure. The plan was to take the train to Pukerua Bay, then ride down to Mana, ride on Te Ara Piko to Pauatahanui, stop for coffee there, then head into the walkways of Whitby and find our way to Porirua Station for the train journey home. Here is a map of the proposed route, provided by Alastair on the Folding Goldies website.

John and I had done the first part of this ride several times before, but we had not ventured into Whitby yet.

Again there were just five of us. Alastair and Daryl met us on the train when we boarded at Takapu Road, and Lynn joined us at Pukerua Bay, having come by train from Paraparaumu.

Getting organised at Pukerua Bay Station (photo by John)

When we bought our electric bikes, I asked Alastair if it would be “cheating” to bring the e-bikes for this ride, and luckily his reply was “Not cheating at all!”. Phew! And he added that they would probably all be interested in having a good look at our bikes.

Of course, hurtling down Te Ara Harakeke from Pukerua Bay to Plimmerton there was no need for the e-assist. And we had the northerly wind behind us as well!

Along the foreshore by Paremata I took a photo of the waves rolling in, not realising that my (new, and as yet unfamiliar) camera was using a setting that gave several “interesting” effects for each shot. I rather like the result below.

My “arty” shot near Paremata

I am lagging way behind Alastair and Lynn, because I was fiddling with my camera (photo by John)

From Mana we crossed the main road to get onto the Camborne Walkway, which is a lovely track that winds its way in and out of little bays around the northern edge of the Pauatahanui Inlet.

On the Camborne Walkway (photo by John)

We stopped at the Ground Up Café in Pauatahanui Village for coffee and scones – very leisurely and pleasant. Then we headed past the Lighthouse Cinema, onto a track that went under the road bridge, and towards Joseph Banks Drive at the edge of Whitby.

The tracks through Whitby were a revelation to John and me. Alastair had done a couple of reconnoitre rides, to figure out exactly what would be the best route. I had imagined that it would be all “up hill and down dale”, but in fact, we seemed to be skirting along the edge of the hills, in lovely park-like surroundings for much of the way.

Some of the time we had to get onto the road to get from one walking track to the next, and on one of these occasions Alastair lost his bearings, and we had to ask the way from a passer-by.

Lost! A passer-by tells us the way. Never mind the iPhone map … (photo by John)

Another one of my accidental “arty” shots. I don’t know the name of this little church,
 but I liked the look of it

Found the track! (photo by John)

The well-planned track dips under the Whitby roads in several places (photo by John)

The Bothamley Park track was quite lovely. It skirts Cannons Creek. It was quite sheltered here, and one would not have known there was a howling northerly gale blowing elsewhere.

At the entrance to Bothamley Park. From left: Lynn, Daryl, Désirée, Alastair (photo by John)

A cascade comes tumbling down the hillside (photo by John)

You’d think you were miles away from the city (photo by John)

The Bothamley Park track is a very comfortable, smooth ride

Once we came out of the wooded part of the park, the track meandered alongside the Kenepuru Stream, crossing it several times, before ending up at the motorway, across from the Porirua Station. We went into the very colourful and apparently very well-maintained underpass, to emerge at the station.

Daryl rides through the Porirua Station underpass (photo by John)

I love the murals on the underpass ramp

It was still only 12:40 pm, so we decided we might as well carry on riding along to Takapu Road Station in Tawa instead of taking the train back from here. Lynn showed us the way to the gravel track that runs alongside the railway line as far as Kenepuru, and from there it became the nice new sealed Ara Tawa, which ends up at Takapu Road.

For John and me, this was the end of the ride, because this was where we had parked the car. It was some time before the next train back to Wellington, so we decided another coffee would be a good idea. John and I put our bikes away in the car, and drove the short distance to the café in the Dress-Smart shopping area, while the others biked there. Another coffee and more chat, and then Alastair and Daryl were on their way to the train to Wellington, and Lynn decided to bike along Middleton Road to Johnsonville, before deciding how to get back to Paraparaumu.

This had been a most enjoyable 34 km ride, especially the tracks through Whitby. We are sure to want to ride those again some time soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment