Sunday, December 19, 2010

Riding in Rotorua and Taupo

Last weekend Dave Osmond flew over from Australia for a week of mountain biking and hanging out in New Zealand. He arrived late on Saturday and we left Wellington early on Sunday morning to drive up to Rotorua to collect Dan Mackay who was arriving in the afternoon.

After collecting Dan from the airport we went back to our palatial accommodation at the Rotorua Thermal Resort. This place was super close to the Redwoods and was really cheap. It was good, but we might splash out for a fancier cabin next time.

Dan assembled his bike and we headed out to stretch our legs and get acquainted with Rotorua mountain biking. The riding there is quite different from Wellington or Canberra. The volcanic soil makes for much smoother trails that have infinite amounts of grip. We spent about two hours riding some of the inner trails before deciding it was time for some ice cream. After ice creams and showers we headed into town for dinner.

Monday we decided to head out to the "outback" trails. There we found the wonders that were Split Enz, Pondy New and Corners. Corners seemed to defy physics in that it felt like it took longer to ride down that it did to ride the fire trail to the top. After about 5-6 hours of riding, including riding some trails three times, I finally managed to coax Dave out of the forest with the suggestion of more ice cream. This time we followed ice cream with a dip in the hot springs that give the Rotorua Thermal Resort its name.

After the hot pools and showers we headed into town to find dinner. I had seen in a brochure that there was a Latin American restaurant in town. Dave was given the map to navigate and he led us straight to...a kebab shop. We just assumed that the brouchure was out of date and ended up with Indian food.

Tuesday was pretty much the same with Dan and Dave taking a slightly more difficult route to the top of Split Enz this time allowing me to save a bit of energy. The only difference was we managed to find the Latin American restaurant this time, because I got a little lost trying to find a place to park and ended up stoping right in front of it.

Wednesday we left Rotorua and began the journey back to Wellington. We stopped in Taupo to have a spin around the Craters of the Moon. It always amazes me how quickly time disappears in this forest. By the time we got back to the car it was nearly 2PM. We went down to the lake to eat lunch and go for a quick swim to wash off all the sweat and dust.

From Taupo it was about a five hour drive back to Wellington. We passed the time with Car-aoke and a kebab in Bulls. We arrived home safe and sound to a very wet Wellington.

To be continued...

Dan and Dave at the end of the Dipper

Dave and Aaron on "the fun track"

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