Day 3: Broadwood to Waipoua Forest

Ok first and foremost, it is true what they say about exercise bringing clarity of thought to life's burning questions. Indeed, I have solved a lyrical mystery that has been bugging since traveling in Golden Bay last November. You know that 90s country song "Bye Bye" by Jo Dee Messina? Kylie and I thought she was singing "left foot down on my accelerator"...but no car has an accelerator on the left side. How could such a blunder escape the notice of a mass record company!? Naturally google could have solved this but we only remembered the question when we had no service. Well today I realized she was saying "LEAD foot down on my accelerator." Finally! Absolution!

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As for the rest of the day, I must say we kicked some serious butt! I felt so much stronger today. I climbed several decent hills in their entirety without getting off my bike. That's a pretty huge deal for me. I was so excited! Also...equal parts exhausted. 

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Luckily ice cream AND a meat pie are boons to the spirit. It was so good.

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Then off to the ferry to Rawene and then onto Waimamaku.

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Our goal is to do 70km the first few days to let our bodies adjust. Today, we did 80km. We were going to stop at Waimamaku but Jess said she thought we could make it to Waipoua and some "cheap cabins" at the campsite there. It was drizzly so the thought of not having to put up a tent was quite appealing to me. But here's the thing--it was a 1200ft climb over about 8km. The elevation chart pictured in the book looked frightening. But we decided to go for it.

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The incline wasn't as bad as it looked on paper though it was tough and long. But I climbed most of it without walking! It felt so amazing to do be able to do that!

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The tour has a few photo check in points so we stopped at saw the oldest kauri tree in NZ. Luckily the rain came pouring down so I got to bust out the saxy poncho

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The downhill after that climb made it all worth it. The rain stopped and pink hues of sunset were in the sky. The road was empty and we were separated enough from each other that it felt like we both had that whole space to ourselves. It was so beautiful I almost got teary eyed.

When we arrived at the campground, we must have looked a sight because the campground guy gave us a cabin for the price of a tent site. 🙏🏼. So wonderful. I was so happy to be dry and to let all of the things have a chance at drying out.