11/14/2014 – 498 days/44622 miles

From Rotorua, I headed to Taupo. The direct route is about 80 or 90kms, but I took two days on a wonderful ~1000km route that went along the east cape.
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I’m sure you’ll be shocked to hear about how wonderful the scenery was.
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I had a few run ins with cows and sheep holding up traffic…not exactly what you expect to see when coming around a corner…
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Free camping on the beach…don’t mind if I do!
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Over the two day ride to Taupo, I rode a couple hundred kilometers on dirt roads…encountering sections that were hard packed, loose, deep, smooth, rutted, corrugated, windy, and steep. I feel like I finally got a decent chance to really test out the IMS foot pegs that I had installed in Brisbane, and I’m really pleased. The much larger platform was really great for fatigue, compared to what I would’ve experienced on the small stock pegs (imagine spending a few hours standing on an extension ladder vs. on scaffolding).
Here’s a couple pictures of stock vs IMS.
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For anyone doing a good amount of offroad riding, I can’t recommend them enough. They’ve also got another model of the ADV pegs, which look like they offer even more surface area that the ones I’m running.

In Taupo, I met up with a couple friends, and our plan was to spend a day hiking the Tongariro Crossing, which is supposed to be the most popular hike in New Zealand. Unfortunately, the weather forecast in the area showed endless amounts of rain, which mean that the crossing was closed the entire time (not that a 19km hike would be that enjoyable in the cold, pouring rain.

So instead, we headed up to Waitomo for a day to check out the caves and glow worms.
I don’t have any pictures, as the cave was pretty wet (like, change into a wetsuit, wet) so I didn’t bring my camera, but check out Google if you want to see what the glowworms (they’re actually larva not worms, but the glowing part is true) look like.
A Google search will reveal stuff like this.

And in one of the windows of good weather, I managed to get my oil and rear tire changed…I was definitely getting tired of carrying that new rear tire around everywhere!
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