Up North...and back again

up north... to many hills, to much traffic. As cyclist I recommend to get the ferry to Devonport to avoid the busy harbour bridge in Auckland. Leaving the suburbs takes a long time and already now you can experience what will be the main theme in the Northland: hills. Concerning traffic I avoided the main road and choose some scenic unpaved detours along the coastline. Weather was ok, warm during the day, 3 days with rain (out of 8), one of them really soaking wet. Highlights where the coastline, the bays and beaches. Waitangi Treaty Grounds, best fish & chips in Mangonui, Cape Reinga, cycling the 90 mile beach, the gigantic Kauri trees in Waipoua forest, a nice bike ride btw too. A warming fire in the spacious kitchen of a camp site while it was raining outside. I met a few cyclists on the road most of them from Germany or Switzerland. Some people do the long New Zealand trek and walk from Cape Reinga to Invercargill, just last night a young brazilian/ italian girl was very enthusiastic about carrying her 30kg backpack all the way down south and reporting her adventures. I met gumdiggers, fisherman and Kumara farmers. And Irish folk with hurley or should I say camàn right at Cape Reinga. Now back in Auckland after 8 days and trying to catch the ferry early morning to Coromandel, where there will be a bicycle race tomorrow (I was lucky to avoid the Auckland marathon one day later, that would have meant roads closed for some time).