Day 12: Friday 25 Nov – Eketahuna to Martinborough

A much easier day today – 110km with 850 meters to climb, 1030 down.

I set off looking forward to be riding in familiar territory once I got to Masterton. On our notes we had 60km to ride to Masterton but the sign at Ekatahuna said it was 20km down SH2, clearly we were going to be following the more scenic route!.

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Masterton for Coffee

It was quite a good ride, lots of hills but generally you could get up most of them for free. We did like a figure of 8 before coming into Masterton. Some of the riders view is that we were a bit short on the planned kilometres for the ride, others were of the view that the plan was to keep us off the main roads.

I stopped in Masterton for a coffee and had a cinnamon scone. 5 km later was the lunch truck. Not surprisingly having just eaten a scone I wasn’t hungry so I didn’t stop for lunch

The ride took us the back way to Martinbrough past the back of Gladstone. I did think about calling into the Gladstone Pub, as it has very nice food, but rain was looking imminent so I kept going. At the Gladstone turn off we went on to the route where the Martinborough Charity ride goes  (one of the Lake Taupo lead up rides). It is much easier going this way to Martinborough rather than from Martinborough to Masterton.

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Figurines on the way to Martinborough

Even though my notes said 110 km, in my mind it had morphed into 120km so I was surprised to get to Martinbrough more quickly than expected. I said to Brett the camp must be out of town awhile, and he of course had no idea why I thought that, until I said I was working on 120km.

We arrived at the Top 10 which is 800m from the town center, and the rain that had been imminent all day started to bucket down. I was pleased to have a cabin. Sadly the cabin has no toilet, but is close to the shower and toilet block.

After a shower we headed off up town, first stop was the micro brewery for a tasting paddle and a food platter. The lack of lunch was starting to kick in.We shared two tasting paddles between four of us. Eight glasses on each paddle, starting with a really nice crisp red apple cider. Usually I don’t like cider but I did like this. Then we worked from lager to black / stout. I did not like the stout but I really liked the one before it, called a wee Scottish porter.

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Beer tasting, with Tony and Brett (Photo credit: Michele’s Facebook page)

After that we went to the wine center and did a wine tasting of a wine called Armitash? Need to check the name (Editor’s note: Don’t panic guys, Kaye emailed me a few days later – the wine was Ashwell). Then to the 4-square for some snacks and back to camp.

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Dull, cloudy and grey sky (Photo credit: Sue’s blog)

Dinner was smashed potatoes with chilli con-carne on top and salad. Michelle and Tony and Brett and I produced the same bottle of wine for dinner: Squawking Magpie Syrah (from the Hawkes Bay gimlet gravel area).

My friend Julie, who lives in Featherston, arrived as we were finishing dinner. We moved pretty quickly to the cabin as it was cold and blustery weather. It was good to see Julie and catch up with all her news.

The weather tomorrow is not looking great but I am feeling pretty excited as I get to Wellington tomorrow, and I will get to catch up with my  Wellington based children and my three grand babies.

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Others camping in tents tonight (Photo credit: Sue’s blog)

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