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This is the first serious outing on the bike for months. The plan is to drive to Queenstown to visitĀ  our daughter for a few days and make a number of calls along the way. Weather is the key planning issue as the run of endless warm sunny days looks set to come to an end. After some agonisingĀ  I make a decide to take 4 days to get to Queenstown to allow for forecast heavy rain on Thursday

I follow the road to Tokoroa, arouned the western side of Lake Taupo and then down the Desert Road to Waiouru. Pleasingly there is no traffic to speak of although there is some intermittent drizzle/low cloud until south of Taupo. I've begun to regret only bringing the Joe Rocket lightweight gear, well it was hot at home!

Great roads with views of the lake and strange stone formations. Lots of bugs.

Lunch at Waiouru followed by the flat run to Waikanae. Here the GPS img_5501(Doreen) takes leave of her senses and directs me on the Akatarawa road. The route looks sensible to take me to Upper Hutt, cutting off miles. Ho Ho. This turns out to be a gotcha. The road is nearly 30km of single track winding tar cut through a pass with cars coming the other way. There must be 200 blind corners but at least there is not a lot of traffic. This is a 'do once then avoid' road.

Staying with friends overnight there is yet another wardrobe malfunction, the soles of my sneakers just decompose and fall off! This is definitely a first, I wonder how old are they? Luckily I am able to borrow a pair of sneakers.