The Misty Mountain Hop

Dec 26, 2006
Hey guys remember the scene from Lord of the Rings where the fellowship pass through the misty mountains? The song Led Zepplin sings? Yea you guessed it, I rode through em. They are not only called the misty mountains in LOTR. One Maori (native new zealanders, think American Indians but waaaay more baddass) I came across was really curious about why a person would be riding his bike on this hilly road. I talked with him for a while and he explained that the Maoris called this place the "Land of the Mist" and the people that live here "Children of the Mist" I AM NOT KIDDING YOU!!! how cool is that. Its hard to tell from the pictures but the place really was misty, it was always floating through the air like smoke, and it was always, always raining.
Unfortuneatly I can't really say that I enjoyed it all too much, until I was finished with it. I started out from Rotorua into this eerie land about a week and half ago, a day after my last journal entry. It was pouring rain, but that didn't deter me. It is summer after all, how long could it last? A very long time, I came to realize. It didnt stop raining for 5 days straight, with the exception of a beautiful 3 hour break on the 4th day. All this time I spent riding on a dirt road, that became more like a mud road, with no people, no accomodation not even stores around me. Just the misty mountains, the birds, animals and the occasional Maori. I packed all my food with me. The menu consisted of noodles and canned beef, bread and luckily some chocolate my mom sent me for Xmas for breakfast. It got old really fast.
The going was tough and by the second day everything that I owned was soaking wet. My tent had a permanent puddle in the middle of it. I wasnt camping in camp sites, oh no, but out in the bush a few hundred meters from the road. My water came from streams (best tasting water I have ever had) and I learned what native plants are best to wipe your ass with (when you use leaves, always go against the grain, it works better that way) Anyway, after 3 days I began to become quite miserable. But what doesnt kill you make you stronger, right? If anything the horrid conditions inspired my legs, because I pedalled like hell to get out of there. The 3rd night I finally made it to lake Waikaremoana, and camped in an actually designated camp site, a sign that I was inching closer to civilization. On the 5th day I finally made it to Wairoa, a small town on the coast, and I was so wrecked that I plopped down the $90 for a hotel room. I've never enjoyed myself so much. I thawed out my hands with the hairdryer (windchill sucks when its raning and cold to begin with) and laughed manically as I discoverd the bed had an electric blanket. It was truely heaven. I bought a six pack and watched tv for 6 hours, perfectly happy in doing so. I had ridden 226km in total.

After that night I rode a small 13km to a farm hostel, where I rested for 2 days, got food poisoning, and ended up staying for another 3. While there I did some pretty cool things, like eat lamb tails and shooting clays with a shotgun. It was good, except for the vomiting and diaharrea. But at least I was warm and dry.

And now Im in Napier, a rather big city, enjoying the crowds and pretty women.
Merry Xmas folks!
There bulls followed me along the road from the end of thier pasture all the way to the next fence. They REALLY wanted my blood.
Great. Im in for it now.
I guess if I get REALLY hungry...
Cows in the road. Something you dont see in Cali too often.
Water source #1
The red line is where the road is. Thats a big ass hill and a bigger ass gradient.
The misty mountains.
Purty flower.
Cool tree rising above the mist.
I wouldn't exactly call it a heavy vehicle.
Its a nice place.
Its like mini Devil's Slide!
Finally, a break in the rain.
The lake in all its splendor.
Mmm, fresh water.
This one is for you Chris! I found some fishermen at the lake. They didnt catch anything, though.
Mokau falls.
Mmm lamb tails, a kiwi family favorite.
Get into it.
Cutting down the XMas tree.
Im as happy as a man with a shotgun.