slivka.com > Trips > New Zealand 2002 > Thu Dec-26

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Thu Dec-26 Bicycle to Orekei Korako thermal area, Copthorne Taupo Manuels (Backroads Day 7)
We awoke to a drizzling rain outside. After breakfast we put on our rain gear with the prospect of 51 miles of rain and taxied to our starting point south of Rotorua. The rain stopped after several kilometers, so we took off our rain gear, slathered on the 35 SPF sunscreen, and continued our ride.

At 39.7km we reached the Waikite Valley Hot Pools, where we stopped for lunch. After a quick bite to eat, Ben and Lisa got back on their bicycles and continued on for another 42.9km through a fair number of hills (none as tall as Pumpkin Hill), including an 10km stretch of gravel road (fun on the downhills!)

We reached Orakei-Korako Thermal Area around 4pm, stowed our gear, and took the shuttle boat over to the thermal area for a short hike to view the steam, hot water, and bubbling activities, before getting back into the van for our drive to Taupo.

We checked in to the hotel, showered, and had another buffet dinner, accompanied by a 2000 Kaituna Valley Pinot Noir from the Awatere Vineyard in Marlborough (five stars from Michael Cooper) -- massive fruit, very spicy/peppery, but perhaps a bit too much acid on the finish.

Rooms for 1 night:
Copthorne Taupo Manuels
Lake Terrace, Taupo
Ph: 64-7-378-5110
Fax: 64-7-378-5341
http://www.copthornemanuels.co.nz

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