Sofia’s big adventure number 2 got off to a poor start when the weather for the Wairarapa was forecast to be rain 🌧 with more rain 🌧🌧🌧 to follow. Our adventure last year put us off that idea so the team rearranged and the Napier guys rode to Hamilton and we joined them for dinner at Madam Woo’s. On the first day they followed me in our home country. I plotted a course to Whatawhata where they gassed up and we headed north to Ngaruawahia, out to Waingaro, up through Highway 22 to Naike then out to Nikau Caves Café. We stopped as necessary to keep the group together and when we got to the café we found Tom (Red Howler) with his Sei Giorni finishing his lunch. He joined us for the rest of the ride after we had eaten and we headed up the road to Port Waikato. I ended up being a bit embarrassed taking the guys up there, the road condition was nothing like what I remembered and we were shaken to the bone 🦴 by the corrugations. One of the group had a brief off road excursion but kept the scoot upright and only sustained minor damage on the scooter and none to themselves. At Port Waikato we decided to cut and run to the main road, fill up at Huntly despite the extortionate prices there, then back to the motel. Joss and I covered a total of 261km from front gate to front gate taking 5 hours of travelling. We had Ant and Sue, Jonathan, Allan with Sally in the car carrying bags, Ariel, Dennis and Wendy. A great day out on our beautiful twisty roads.
Day 2 started again in Hamilton with breakfast at Lola’s in Dinsdale before heading to Otorohanga via Templeview, Pirongia etc. We were then on main roads through Te Kuiti where we topped our tanks and headed for Taumarunui. It was about midday and the BP was very busy so we all topped up again and we headed for the Forgotten World Highway. The road twists and turns and dips and crests and it’s all good fun. We stopped at the Ohura Road intersection to regroup and the wait was a bit long. We were missing 2 scooters and a car. Despite our location we managed to find out that Ariel’s scooter had lost connection between the motor and the back wheel, either clutch or drive belt had cried enough. When Gordon, also known as Dennis, and Wendy arrived we headed for Whangamomana and had lunch and a drink. The Tohu Pinot Gris was most agreeable. While we sat enjoying the sun Sally and Ariel turned up so they grabbed a bite to eat before we hit the road to Stratford then on to Hawera. All checked in and changed we went out to Rough Habits for good old pub grub. Another great day of scootering, the amount of black showing on our tyres confirmed the increased confidence everyone demonstrated as the day went on. Sadly, I leave the group after today while they head for the Hawke’s Bay and I go home.
For day three of Sofia's big adventure version 2 we gathered for breakfast at Someday Café where we all took our own particular poison. It was then time to pack for the final drive home, most going south to Whanganui then across to Napier, I hit the road for Hamilton on SH 3. Final gas up together was at Z Hawera and we said our farewells. Soon I was scooting along in beautiful weather with Mount Egmont/Taranaki clearly visible on my left, and occasional glimpses of the sisters in the distance to my right. I stopped just through Inglewood to get some photos and reply to a text before heading for Mokau where I had a bite of lunch. I parked Sofia out of the sun as best as possible and went inside to get some food. With that the phone rang and the boss rang offering work for the next day. Better do something to pay for this pleasure. I hit the road again and was keeping an eye on my fuel knowing that there was a decent distance between stations. However, I passed through Pio Pio with no orange light so pressed on towards Te Kuiti. About 1 km later it started flickering and by the time I rolled into Z Te Kuiti it was on solidly. I had made a couple of stops for photos and arrived home at about 3:00pm after an awesome ride by myself. What a great 3 days, thanks to Ant, Sue, Allan, Sally, Jonathan, Gordon (aka Dennis), Wendy and Ariel from Napier Scooter Club and Tom (Red Howler) from Hamilton for a great ride and wonderful company. Can't wait for next year.
(A compilation and slight editing of my Facebook posts to keep the locals up to speed on what we were up to). Currently I can't add photos, I will try adding them separately.