jaydogblog

my life in the land down under


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Cycle Hike Pt 2

Here begins part two of our cycle ride in Napier at the end of February (you can see part one here).

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View from near our lunch stop – cruise ships in the distance, agapanthus seed heads in the foreground

After leaving the cafe we headed out of town again, and gradually worked our way back down that orange-marked trail on the map. The route soon took us through farmland.

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Sheep

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Cyclists coming through!

We felt sorry for these sheep who seemed to have very little feed, water or shelter. By now it was early afternoon, and the day was heating up. The landscape everywhere was so dry and barren in appearance. Not long afterwards the entire North Island was declared a drought area, and we heard stories of farmers in the Waikato having to destroy their animals due to lack of feed. As I write this I’m pleased to say the drought is breaking, and several of the drought areas have had good amounts of rain in the last few days. (Update: The drought has well and truly broken in our area, with very heavy rain and flooding over the past few days!)

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Boardwalk

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Hawkes Bay summer landscape – loved those ‘bunny tails’

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Gravel trail

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Another gate

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Through the gum trees

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More evidence of drought – a dried-up stream

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The last leg – or should that be, ‘on her last legs’?!

The small camera John carried was much easier to access & operate while cycling; in the afternoon I was finding it increasingly difficult to stop, dismount the bike and wrestle my SLR out of the camera bag to use it each time. Getting back on the bike took more effort each time too, so there was some moaning & groaning involved! As a result I missed a few good shots toward the end of the ride – including one of the old bridge over the Ahuriri estuary (above), which is a local landmark. I did prove to myself that I could carry a camera while riding though!

35km later, we finally made it back to John’s sister’s place, but not before she’d texted us to make sure we were okay. We got back later than she expected – before dark and in time for tea though. 🙂

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Cycle Hike

When we visited John’s sister in Napier at the end of February, we took the bikes with us and rode a cycle trail we had been talking about doing for a while. John has been keen for me to blog about it ever since. We’ve had a busy few weeks, but I finally got around to it…!

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Cycle trail map

We followed (some of) the orange trail on the map above; the pen tip shows our starting point. I took my Nikon SLR along for the ride and John took a Nikon point-and-shoot. It was cool and cloudy to start with so good weather for riding, but not so good for photos as the light was very flat.

At the beginning of the trail we rode along the top of a stopbank, with a river hidden by trees down to one side of us, and vineyards and orchards on the other.

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Riding along the stop bank

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Vineyards

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Apple orchards – we saw pickers at work

We reached the coast at Awatoto, then rode north through an industrial area and along Marine Parade to the port, where we saw two cruise ships.

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Stony beaches

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Colourful comfort stop

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Approaching the port

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Cruise ship complete with security guard

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Parked at the marina

As we were mostly following designated off-road cycle trails, we weren’t having to contend with traffic and stayed safe on the bikes. I did have one ‘close call’ near the marina, when I wasn’t paying sufficient attention to where I was going, almost colliding with a railing alongside the path as I went around a corner. I made a very sudden stop and my body collided with the handlebars instead – thankfully I stayed upright and there were no major injuries. 🙂

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Beachside garden

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Paved cycle track  along the coastline

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Coastline view

We got ‘lost’ a couple of times when we entered suburban streets and the trail was poorly marked, otherwise it was mostly flat and easy to follow. As we reached the most northern point of our ride it was time for a lunch break.

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Table decorations in the cafe

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Lunch!

To be continued…


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Whither Thou Goest

This week we have been talking again about possibilities for the future, a.k.a. ‘where do we go from here?’.

I’m torn between the desire for security and stability, and the need for change because things aren’t working well as they are. We keep cycling around; economically things improve for a while so the dreams go on the back burner, then work drops off again so we have to consider other options.

One of these options is uprooting and becoming mobile in a way that combines John’s work and our budding photography business, while still allowing me to continue with my job. I’m not sure how I will handle the mobile lifestyle, however they say that when you look back on your life you’re far more likely to regret the things you didn’t do, than the things you did.

This week I have a new appreciation for Ruth (in the Bible), who for love of her mother-in-law gave up other options for her future in order to stay with and support Naomi.

In the same way, it seems right to me to support and encourage my husband & help him fulfill his dreams and potential, trusting that along the way my own will also be fulfilled. We are a team; our relationship will be strongest when we are pulling in the same direction.

“And Ruth said, entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.” – Ruth 1.16, King James Version.

I would like to know where the road leads before we start out, but that’s not possible. I have to trust God that we will make the right decisions and be guided in the right direction.

Destination Unknown

(photographed  on our honeymoon in 2005, somewhere in the South Island)


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Over the Hill

We live at the top of a hill, so when we go for one of our bike rides (rare at the moment as we’ve been busy with other things), whichever cycle route we take involves a hill climb to get home. The hills aren’t that steep, but neither am I very fit!

We also have a hill to drive over when we take one particular route out of the city. This view from the top was photographed a few weeks ago, when we helped Kelly & Levi shift house.

We are heading north today…

View from the Top