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New Zealand – Napier – 25th November

For the first time in New Zealand we decided to spend two nights in the same location/campsite. Not far from Napier is Eskdale Park a forest with lots of mountain biking paths to explore, all we needed was some bikes and we were ready to go. Avanti Bikes in Taradale was the best bet and at $30 per bike for half a day, good value. As it were quiet they said there was no rush to return the bikes so we loaded the van, which in itself took what felt like half a day, and drove for around 45 minutes to Eskdale.

There is not a lot of car parking space at the two entrances but it was pretty quiet so we  unloaded, donned our safety helmets and set off with map in hand. It costs $7 per person for a park permit which last for 3 weeks which is great value if you are sticking around the area. Starting with a beginner path it soon proved to be fairly challenging as the paths are very narrow with lots of pine cones, roots and tree trunks to avoid. Once more confident we tackled some intermediate class routes with the Klingon and Luge routes our combined favourites.

Felling pretty knackered and ready for lunch we returned to the van at 1pm for tuna sandwiches before returning the bikes. More food shopping followed by a return to the campsite for showers and some evening entertainment provided by Peep Show on the laptop. The sunset that ensued was pretty awe-inspiring, doomsday style.

(Leica M9, Summicron-M 50mm f2.0 & Olympus PEN, 17mm f2.8 & 100mm f2.8, processed in Lightroom 3)

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