I was up and away from Taumarunui Holiday Park early today with the first stop the local Beaurepairs tyre repair shop.
Here I scrounged out back for four large truck tyre tubes.
With help from the staff, I walked out with four grand second-hand tubes, expertly patched up for NZ$10. I folded them meticulously, and attached them to the bike.
I estimate the weight of the tubes to be somewhere between 7 and 10 kilograms. Add to that the fact that they pulled the center of gravity of the bike way up, the bike felt rather unweildly.
I visited the local Mitre 10 for some cheap nylon rope (30m for NZ$10), and I was on the road.
The ride from Taumarunui to Whakahoro (end of the road heading into Whanganui National Park) was not the greatest. Frequent light showers, dampened the mood somewhat, until I got onto the gravel road heading into the park.
The road followed a small trubutary to the Whanganui River, and I relished the lack of traffic and beautiful birdsong of native New Zealand birds.
I arrived in Whakahoro just before dark, and stayed at the DOC hut there with Fritz and Johana, a German couple canoing down the Whanganui River.
Many canoeists make the 5 day canoe journey from Taumarunui to Pipriki through the Whanganui National Park along the Whanganui River. It is called the Whanganui Journey, and is 145km long. I never even knew that there was a Whanganui National Park, let alone a river going through it that was so popular with tourists!