Day 12: Taumaranui to Jerusalem

Don't we all look so happy with our cafe breakfast stop?

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We opted to bypass gravel roads and trails for a bit and opt for the highway route. And honestly, it's been some of the most beautiful riding so far.

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We passed the outskirts of Tongariro National Park (Mordor) and had this beautiful downhill section near the Whanganui River. It was so gorgeous. It was a lot of tough climbing too and we went 120km today. Conrad sets a pace that keeps us going for sure but is one of the nicest people you'll ever meet so he makes me feel like I won the Tour de France after every tough climb.

 That's Mordor behind me

That's Mordor behind me

We booked accommodation ahead of time and must do that more often since it does add a measure of anxiety to the day to not know where we're sleeping. This place was amazing though. It is...wait for it...a catholic convent. And it's so lovely! It was founded by this nun in the 1800s who sounds like the Mother Teresa of NZ. The rooms feel like an old school hospital or the orphanage in Annie. Also, there is a super friendly cat here. #catsofNZ

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Today we had to jerry-rig my back rack when I lost a bolt. We then added duct tape. You're not hardcore unless you live hardcore!

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 ...and did I mention 120km?