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A slight tailwind helped us as we began our return journey to the north. The transformation of the weather from grey to blue provided an improved scenic experience. Especially beautiful were the sections around and between the mouths of the Tukituki, Clive and Ngaruroro Rivers (in my opinion, the nicest sections of the "Lake Ride"). The coastal landscape here popped nicely against the blue sky and sea.
Ranchy Country
Around Tukituki River
Coastal Marshland
courtesy JInnes
Around Clive River
Napier in sight
Rowing Practice
Sky blue on the Water Ride
Gently meandering path
Back on pavement
We were pretty efficient on our return leg back north to Napier. A combination of an initial tail wind, less stops, and less routefinding (those little blue stick/poles that mark the route were sometimes hard to find, and we got off course a few times on outbound leg) resulted in a noticeably higher rate of progress. In fact, it took us less than two hours to cycle the 27-ish kilometres back to Napier. It had taken us more than twice that time to cycle the same distance on our outbound leg.

We arrived back in Napier almost precisely at 6pm. Late, but still reasonable. Everybody had done quite well, especially considering our many stops and the fact that most in the group were not regular cyclists. A special award goes to Lori, for whom the day's 55km distance was by far her longest ever ride. Well done.
Milk & Honey
Originally we had planned to head back to the house in Taupo for a home dinner, but with our relatively late 6pm return time, most didn't want to wait until nearly 10 pm to eat. So, we got in touch with Caroline (who, as you may recall, was back at the house sick with an ailment) to inform her that we would not be making supper, then sought some advice from the young lady at the bike rental shop for a good place to eat. She recommended a downtown Napier restaurant called "Milk & Honey". Curiously-named, and sounded interesting, so we gave it a shot.

The food was decent enough (there were a lot of fusion-type dishes from different cuisines), but it seemed rather expensive and the wait staff got several of our orders completely wrong. Now, not having a lot of experience (actually, no experience) with New Zealand restaurants, our impression of the place was middling. We had no idea if this was the typical NZ eating establishment experience. More data points needed!

Night fell as we made the two-hour drive back to the Taupo area, and we arrived back to the house at a fairly late 10 pm.
Interactive trackmap with photo points - Hawke's Bay Ride - click map to view
Hike Data - Water Ride, Hawke's Bay
Start Time: 12:31p.m.
End Time: 6:18p.m.
Duration: 5h46m
Distance: 54.46 km (33.84 mi)
Average Speed: 9.4 km/hr (5.9 mph)
Start Elevation: 1ft (0m) *
Max Elevation: 49ft (15m) *
Min Elevation: -9ft (-3m) *
End Elevation: 25ft (8m) *
* : +/- 75 feet
Total Elevation Gain: 143ft (44m) *
Total Elevation Loss: 118ft (36m) *
* : +/- 75 feet
Elevation Graph
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[ Return to New Zealand Home page | Intro | Hobbiton | Home Base North | Hawke's Bay Cycle Tour | The Taupo Area | Waitomo Glowworm Caves | The Rotorua Area | Tongariro Alpine Crossing | The Great Lake Ride | The Capital - Wellington | Crossing the Cook Strait | Tasman Great Taste Ride | Rain Day in Nelson | Abel Tasman Kayak and Hike | The Great South Drive | Aspiring National Park Backpack | Queenstown | The Routeburn Track | Epilogue | The "Short Report" | GPS Data ]

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