How many of you love surprises?
I love to surprise Kelly but almost never pull it off. She’s just too intuitive and reads me like a book.
I started planning 7 months ago to get Natalie, her best mate from Oz over here for her birthday.
Picked Natalie up from the airport at midnight, got her back here and who is wide awake at 12:30am and waiting for us? Yep, her who cannot be fooled!
Laughter and hugs galore ensued.
So for the last two days we have been having a blast going totally Kiwi on Nat, feeding her up, dragging her round to friends places and organized a group ride so she can experience Kiwi Biker Lifestyle first hand.
Despite all the other family related fun,it’s the ride I want to write about…surprise!
Those who have read my older posts will recall we went to the South Island last year and met up with Nat to have an excuse to ride the Ducati down there.
This time I brought Nat to us in the North Island to share Kellys birthday weekend.
I arranged a group of Ducatis, Triumphs, a Harley and a Spada (GO THE SPADE!) to ride with our lovely Natalie to a few choice popular biker stops in the countryside. A short ride, about 200kms all up.
This region, south Wairarapa is one of the most gorgeous motorcycle playgrounds in the world, easily.
We stopped at the top of the Rimutaka Hill to show Natalie the sights. Got some good pix of our small group and metup with the infamous Carla aka Ducati chick extraordinaire, one of our dearest biker friends on her Yellow Monster.
From there we stopped for a coffee in Martinborough but saved our food cravings for the next stop.
Martinborough is a cool town, bikers love it, has a great square, loads of high end cafes, a classic kiwi Pub and loads of wineries around to take something home from. The city is laid out in a Union Jack shape, and each streets named after a place the city founder visited, like New York street etc.
36 kilometers on toward the coast we reach Lake Ferry hotel, which has the most amazing fish n chips in the world. And right next to us is the lake that pours into the Southern Ocean, fed by the mighty Ruamahanga River, and when conditions are right its amazing to watch for hours and hours, as the giant white curler sits in the channel where lake meets ocean.
The next destination was the Gladstone Inn, about 65 kilometers back inland, passing back through Martinborough again. Sucks to double back on a road but the normal route to Lake Ferry we take, the eastern lakes road, was a bit too wet and slimy with rain still hugging the mountain range. We took advantage of the finer weather out in the valley and it was a gorgeous day. We had the best of all worlds, the weather, the bikes, the clean empty roads and a group of great friends.
Gladstone is a famous biker friendly pub, also great food, and awesome service.
A few years back while riding the ‘loop and track’ with my stepson Jordan, we sat there for an hour watching a hawk hunt in the fields opposite the pub.
The famous and infamous Rimutaka Hill road is in our route both directions, so Nat can boast to her Okker mates that ride, she has been over the most amazing piece of mountain highway in the lower North Island.
All our good friends and club mates rallied around to kit Natalie out in the best safety gear, even provided her a biker chick leather patched vest to blend in, classic! (On the day she chose to not wear the toughie vest, shame!)
Safely back at home on the Diavle with absolutely smooth and safe riding from our good mate Dave, the day wound down and all went home. The Mighty Spada (GO THE SPADE!) was quick off the last set of lights, having made its run up from the base of the Rimutaka’s to ping us all on the home stretch. Embarassing,pipped by a Spada!
Finishing the day with the carvery at the local cosmopolitan club for Kellys birthday dinner and Nats farewell back to Melbourne, I have to admit. It has been a amazing weekend of funny stories, food, wine, beer, more food, laughter and making memories.