I was outta the Quest in Hamilton quicklike … after posting two days worth of travel details. First stop was Metropolis for a Benedict and a latte. Good riding sustenance.
I mapped out a lengthy tour into Auckland today. Technically I could jump on the 1 and be at my destination in 1.5 hours. I am going to zig west to Raglan and then come in via some smaller roads until I am forced onto the 1. The roads were spectacular. I quickly witnessed numerous other motorbikes (and sporty cars) on the road that I had chosen by chance. This was obviously recognized as one of the better rides around Auckland.
Everything was going swimmingly until I rounded a corner and saw a loose black dog who immediate started barking at me. This is a rural area of farmland with little to no residences right on the road. Why would there be a dog off the lead who was aggressive towards vehicles on a road that definitely saw motorbikes? There was a rarity coming towards me around a bend in the road ahead. I veered as far to the right a safely possible (without going into the oncoming lane) and this hound matched my trajectory. He hit me/I hit him. Admits all the barking, there was a squeal. I saw the open-mouth expression on the lady who was driving towards me. I came to a stop and turned around. The sound that the day was making now as he trashed around in the middle of the road was brutal. I pulled into the farm-driveway and turned off my engine. The dog stopped barking and a slim farmer gent came down the drive. I explained that the dog had charged towards me and I could not avoid him. Obviously, the man was distraught. He said “don’t worry about it” and his wife came down from the house. She started speaking to Bob the dog, who had made it over to the reeds in the ditch by the driveway. The dog had eventually walked over though I suspect that something was broken. Brutal. She told me that it was his fault. Their kids were across the highway and had not controlled Bob. She said that I should continue on my way. I did.
I went a couple of kilometres and pulled over and drank some water and steadied my nerves. The remainder of my ride was very slow and steady. Twas a rather unsettling experience. Onwards.
I had been using my phone as a navigation-aid for the trip west and north. Unfortunately it started showing a low battery just as I was about to get on the highway 1 into Auckland. That would be the time that I would need assistance to get to Cory Faulkner’s family friend, Lynn Grant’s house. Oh drat.
I fumbled and had a stop & start entry to the city. I find that Auckland is. It great in sign-posting. Once you are on a road, they tend to mostly mark the cross-streets … but not always. So often you have no confirmation of which street you are on and sometimes the cross-Street is a mystery as well. A little frustrating.
I made it to Lynn’s house on time at 2pm and met the nice lady. She settled me in for a chat and a few glasses of water. Friends of hers had invited she and I to their house for Easter Sunday Dinner.
After a few hours, we headed out and, after a 20minutes Drive, we pulled into a great house that backed into a nature reserve. Simon and Jean-Pierre were old friends of Lynn and, these meals are something of a tradition. I was very pleased to be invited. The part was rounded out by a nice couple named Jean-Marie and his wife, Helene. A tour of the garden and wild greenery was offered and accepted. It reminded me of the area on Memet & Murray’s property known as the “Troll Bridge”. Wild and beautiful. Dinner was a Swiss raclete (I am misspelling it ,I am sure). This some great cheese imported from Swizerland, Jean-Pierre’s home country. The atmosphere reminded me of a classic French Salon. The hosts stirred the conversation and poured the wine. Very gracious. It was a singular treat.