On Sunday I reluctantly gave up my comfy bed, cozy hostel and new friends to hit the road again. Wasn't really sure where I was heading other than in the general direction of Gisborne and the east cape.
About 20km out of town I noticed a bunch of cyclists riding a bit off the road on a bike path. When I found an entrance I asked someone I saw on the trail about where it goes but unfortunately I had missed the only part that ran in the direction I was going. The good part was the guy I stopped to ask is a local who has been planning his own tour over a lot of the ground I'm covering. He, like several others, discouraged me from freedom camping over the east cape (apparently it's a bit less safe than the rest of the country). So the only camp site between Hastings and Wairoa (the next city I'll come to, 138km from Hastings) is at Lake Tutira. A free DoC camp on a beautiful lake is my only option, I'm okay with that!
After this I got to start the rather tiring climb up to Glenview followed by a terrifying descent on a busy highway down through Devil's Elbow. I made it to the lake in time to eat dinner and pitch my tent before the rain started to come down. I spent the better part of the remaining evening hiding in my tent and enjoying the sound of rain.
The next morning the world was soaked so apparently the rain had only recently let up. I packed up my wet tent and hit the road. 75km to Wairoa and the elevation map showed heaps of hills. Turned out to be a total of 1km climbing for the day! Between that and the extreme heat (my Garmin was saying up to 38 degrees Celsius) I was ready for a shower when I made it to town so I forked over for a motorcamp.
Motorcamps are less reliable than hostels but some times yield great company. At worst I get a shower and a real stove to cook my rice and beans. This night I met a guy from South Africa, Adam, who moved here after meeting a kiwi while traveling. Loved hearing his stories of his adventures over the year, the coolest being a two year trip around Africa by jeep and tent.
I wasn't really prepared for two days with no grocery stores, again. I'm really lousy at planning my food here. I guess I typically don't worry about it because I expect to be able to find something every day. By breakfast on the second day I was out of food that didn't require cooking so I found a store along the way to get a meat pie and some fries. When I made it to Wairoa I made the mistake of going to the supermarket hungry and bought more than I want to carry. I'm going to have to be more diligent for this when I tour anywhere less filled with pubs and dairies.