Road signs day


Some days the road furniture is all there is to see

I was a bit confused this morning, I woke up and looked at the mobile phone and it said 6:45, but there was a lot of light outside. I thought, no way I’m getting up and turned over for another 30 minutes. Then the penny dropped, the mobile phone must have auto updated to daylight saving time. I guess this is one of the disadvantages of not having a standalone watch that you need to reset yourself.

I saw this last night but it was raining so I did not take a picture.
I saw this last night but it was raining so I did not take a picture.

I was quite refreshed from good sleep as the nights are definitely warmer up in the north island, so I got up and packed up. Being that it’s Easter day not much was open and it was a bit of a trial to get somewhere where I could have some breakfast. I was running out of food, almost any kind of, so I really needed to go somewhere to eat.

Love confidence
Love confidence

The idea was to get to the Makutoku Domain Camp which, being free, and in the middle of nowhere, would have lacked any food outlet. I got some provisions and some eggs on toast from the only caffe open and I set off for what was going to be a slightly longer day than planned.

Route 2,960,290 – powered by


The first 25 miles of road were downhill and flew by so I decided that I could probably push it a bit further and therefore save myself some time tomorrow and perhaps increase my time in Napier.

There was not much to see anyway other than farmland and man made attractions, like the Tui Brewery board below, so I kept on going till I got to mile 28.

At some point I will find a bad thing about this country.
At some point I will find a bad thing about this country.
If you cannot read the plaque.
If you cannot read the plaque.
Sad it's Easter I was looking forward to meet the staff.
Sad it’s Easter I was looking forward to meet the staff.

So it happened that by that time the eggs on toast had been burned, I find that, now that the fat reserve around the middle has been a bit depleted, the intervals between when my body calls for food are reducing in size.

So it happens I was almost in Woodville so I stopped at the corner caffe for a burger and chips.

I wood indeed.
I wood indeed.

After Woodville the route changed direction from mainly downhill to uphill, but fuelled by the burger and an energy drink I was not going to be defeated in my objective.

Let me tell you a little about cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance is that mental tool that allows us to ignore the obvious and to make reality appear the way we can tolerate it.

It is essential in a whole set of situations: it prevents new parents killing their offsprings at the 25th sleepless night by making them believe that it is a great thing to raise children, it allows smokers to believe that lung cancer only affects other smokers and it makes many workers think that their dead end job is contributing to their fulfilment.

In my very small world it makes me think that:

  • a day when the first part of the ride is uphill is better because you get relaxing downhill at the end when you’re tired.
  • a day when the first part of the ride is downhill is better because you get warmed up in the first relaxing part and then you’re ready for the climb
  • a day when it’s all uphill is better because there will be a day in the future when you’ll go down again
  • a day when it’s all downhill is better because, well, it’s just better.

And some of you still think I’ve not lost it.

It's Scandinavia now
It’s Scandinavia now
Or is it?
Or is it?

Stu yesterday told me about this, Dannevirke I mean. Apparently in the early days of the colonisation the, when most of the country was still covered by thick native trees forest, the government gave land to all sort of settlers on three years contract and the deal was that, if they cleared and made it productive, they could keep it. This part of the country had some Scandinavian immigrants settling and the result can be seen in town line Dannevirke or Norsewood further along the way.

Another for the "we're in Scotland" collection.
Another for the “we’re in Scotland” collection.

After mile 50 the road changed inclination again and it was a sloping down to Waipukurai where I am camping tonight. There was only a last hill between me and the town when I spotted the Latitude 40 sign so, in order to delay the inevitable hill, I decided to stop and take a picture.

Actually it was nice to know that I have mastered 5º since the 24th of March when I still was in Otago.

Another 5º north.
Another 5º north.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Ann Cavie says:

    Enjoying your blog.
    Hope all is well with you
    Ann & Simon

    1. Alex says:

      Yep, resting one day in Napier and then it’s the north bit of the north island, are you still down here or are you back in the UK?

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