As my ribs slowly come back into place and my right leg gives up the limping and complaining I found myself pulling out books and maps to figure out what can be a good recovery ride. Marcela has also been eager to ride, last week her daily commuting to school was broken by a wintery, cold and rainy spell, forcing her to drive almost every day.
Up to the Te Urewera Mountains we headed. Our goal was to park at the end of the paved road that takes you to Puketiriri and then bike to the nearby Mangatutu hot springs, it will be about 50km return trip on our lightly loaded machines.
What can be better for mind and body than soaking in “mineral saturated” hot water? Early bird start, bikes packed and ready; including stove, cooking gear, hot chocolate ingredients and a hearty lunch consisting of couscous, home made naan bread and some really tasty pre-packed MTR Panner Butter Masala.
After all the coastal riding done lately it was nice to be back in the mountains, I definitely feel at home there, a certain air and mystic about them that I cant find anywhere else.
The hot springs were just what we needed and the ride was enough for my sore ribs to get warmed up for some longer ones to come. First climbing through fertile farmlands and then traversing (up-down-up-down…) surrounded by impressive hanuka and manuka native bush. We made it to Mangatutu springs with enough time to soak lazily in the pools and enjoy the magnificent views of the Mohaka River valley.
Got home just in time to celebrate with a good dark beer (that was wisely given to me as medicine by our good friend Athea) and a hearty mexican dinner with the farm “vecinos”…
-- Unlimited options. We decide to go for the hot pools!
-- Dont get your feet wet...
-- Autumn still hangs to the branches adding a bit of color to the NZ winter.
-- Even though most of the ride was gravel road; Rivers, bridges and plenty of up's and down's keept us busy and entertained.
-- Two pools with wood siding is what you get. A thermal waterfall feeds the pools.
-- "Thermalized" feet after long exposure to hot water.
-- Lunch step 1: Couscous.
-- Lunch step 2: Curry + Couscous
-- Lunch step 3: Hot Chocolate + Naan bread!
-- Ti Kouka tree (Cabagge tree). One of the many inhabitants of the area.
-- Up the hill once more...
-- Thanks Athea the Australian beer was good for the ribs and the spirit...