Yesterday the holiday park was inundated with a bunch of wannabe bikers ( or MAMILs if you prefer – Middle Aged Men In Leather) on  their way to a Harley Davidson rally in Palmerston North.  I’ve come across a couple of different groups over the last couple of days and have had a chat with a few of them – they were nice enough, but I don’t understand why they feel the need to sit and rev their “Hogs” every time they come or go.

Anyway, they insisted on staying up half the night sharing war stories and carrying on – in the kitchen area jut across from my cabin, so I am a little pissed off with them today.  I revved my car when I left this morning… but don’t think that it really had the same impact … Ha Ha ha…

It was a long tiring day today with just under 500km of driving. I left Napier before 0800, and hadn’t driven far before I suddenly realised tat Napier sits on Hawke Bay – in the middle of one of NZs better known wine regions.  The place was dotted with Vineyards (don’t know how I didn’t notice them on the way in).  It was too early for Wine tasting though (most don’t open before 10)… so I had to satisfy myself with a few photos instead…

I took a bunch of backroads to Palmerston North and got lost looking for the bypass to Wanganui (must have missed a sign somewhere).  Eventually made it to Waganui – the planned stopover for the night, but it was still quite early so I decided to continue on to Ohakune.  Although I ddn,t stop long in Wanganui, it has a really nice feel to it… seems a bit more interesting and dynamic than many other places – not sure why… maybe it has a big university or something because there seemed to be a lot of younger people about.

I stopped and did an hour and a half timelapse on the road to Ohakune and arrived late afternoon, to discover that there was not much accommodation available (lots of bikers heading for Palmerston North, and a charity cycle ride with about 200 cyclists and support crews are in town for the night).  I tried a few places and eventually found suitable accommodation, before ducking up to the Ruapehu ski fields for some landscape shots.  Mt Ruapehu is an active volcano – which last erupted in 1995.  Got some decent shots in before it clouded over (and got REALLY windy and cold) and headed back to town.

I caught up with some of the cyclist – their route tomorrow starts of on my planned route, and they will be starting at 0830… so I will try to take some shots before the start, and then head off before I get caught up in all the cycle traffic.

I plan to stay tomorrow at Waitomo which is not too long a drive and should give me time to spend some time in the caves….