East Cape, 2009

The Old Motu Coach Road

8 November, 2009





For many, maybe most, today's ride down the Old Motu Coach Road
was the highlight of the trip.

The road is sealed from Matawai to Motu, and on a gentle down grade.

Leaving Motu, the gravel starts and is our constant companion (except for a very
short bit of seal at Toatoa) for the next 42km.  Also, right after leaving Motu, the
road climbs about 250m to it's highest point about 800 masl.  From there (apart from
a shorter climb of about 150m) it is generally downhill all the way to the coast.

The gravel was generally in very good condition; we saw only about 5 vehicles; and there
was no water in the two fords we had to cross.

It was a magical cycling day.






It started with a fantastic breakfast prepared by Essie and her daughter.
We had had a scrumptious meal on the Saturday evening, followed by a fun trivia
quiz compared by Karen.  The ladies of the Matawai Pub really know how to look after cyclists.

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Artefacts behind the bar at the Matawai Hotel.

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Essie, our wonderful Hostess, and Annie, our wonderful Organiser.

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Trying to get everyone together for the essential Matawai Hotel photo.

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We finally made it - the whole 18 of us.

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Photo: Essie












Essie kept on being handed cameras to record the occasion, risking her life
standing in the middle of Matawai's main street.
It matters not that, in the last hour or so, no vehicles had gone past.

The Motu Road starts right opposite the Pub.

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Pleasant cycling from Matawai to Motu.
This was a somewhat cooler morning.  Until now our night stops had been at sea level.
Here, we had started about 550 masl.

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Photo: Maurice










Downtown Motu at 8:30 on a Sunday morning.

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Photo: Margaret













The gravel has started   -  and the line of scrub across the hillside marks our first
significant climb up to, and through, the gap on the right.

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Looking back towards Motu.  Matawai is back in the hills, somewhere.

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Well, that's that little bit out of the way.

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Photo: Margaret








Almost at the top of the first climb.

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Photo: Maurice









Some of the beautiful bush on the Motu Road. 

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Photo: Margaret








Just as well this slip had been cleared.

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Two views of the morning tea stop.
The birdlife here was very vocal, with lovely whistling coming from the bush.

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Photo: Margaret










The road winds down this hillside to the valley below, and then up the
other side to get out of it.

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Down on the flat, for a while, near Toatoa.

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Photo: Margaret













Catching our breath before the final climb.

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The final yeeehaaaaa.

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Photo: Margaret










On the road in to Opotiki.

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Photo: Maurice










Opotiki night scene.

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Photo: Maurice








Photos: John McK,  unless they were  Margaret's or Maurice's.




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