Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Back on Gravel: Road to Fletcher Bay

Roast chicken with cauliflower and onions for first meal today. We're ready for a hike.

We're driving to Fletcher Bay, an astonishing on-the-water and mostly-gravel trip. Come along for the drive. Seatbelt on? You'll be glad you buckled up.

Pied shag, I think. NZ Birds Online is a most helpful site.

Now we start to climb.

And turn inland for a bit.

Remember, I'm on the left side of the Rover. Uh, honey, could you stay right?


I'm not even sure where the road is in this one...

Art is doing a terrific job driving. On a one-lane gravel road you do your best to keep it in the middle, but he's not sitting in the left-hand seat, is he? 

Toward Fletcher Bay (and speaking of roads, I don't see one in this shot either).

Ford every stream

We made it. Fletcher Bay, with Great Barrier Island in the distance. We talked about taking a flight there, but we're out of time.
After nearly two hours of focusing intently on the road, Art is spent. We both wish our cozy caravan were parked right here and we could stay.
Instead, to get the blood moving we walk the start of the Coromandel Coastal Walkway (more here and some beautiful pictures), a 3.5-hour trek from Fletcher Bay to Stony Bay. No road connects the two. You can hire a group to drop you off and pick you up on the other end...or go for the round-trip 7 hours.

 Even this first portion is breathtaking.

Our route today (click here to view map if reading in email and pay no attention to how long google says it takes):

Ready for the trip back? 

We paused at Fantail Bay Recreation Reserve.

And quickly got back on the road to Amodeo Bay. It's an understatement to say this is intense driving, but I'm not on the sheer-cliff-face side anymore so I'm feeling relaxed (which makes no sense I admit).

Art will have to enjoy the views via this post, because he certainly wasn't looking anywhere but ahead.

This was a beautiful day.

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