Cycle – Baring Head
3 December 2011
I’d postponed the Baring Head cycle trip several times because of strong wind and rain, but Saturday December 3 looked promising, so I posted a message on the Yahoo TTC-Cycling Group? board. A group of seven members set out from Eastbourne late morning in sunny conditions.
It is rarely calm along that stretch of coast, but the rising northerly was at our backs and it was easy going on a well-maintained metal road. Our first stop was at the lighthouse on the beach - one of three with the charm of gingerbread houses along this route - and then we grouped a second time at the bottom of the hill stretch up to the Baring Head lighthouse.
We are so lucky to be able to cycle right along and around this coast since the Wellington Regional council purchased 284.6 ha in the area in June 2010 (see WRC website). There were only a couple of stock gates to open and the rest was freewheeling along a dramatic coastline of big rollers, hardy plants and skyline views.
The hill climb is not steep and the Baring Head route is well-marked. There are also posts pointing a route through to the valley on the coast road from Wainuiomata, which is a good cycle or three-hour walk.
The view at Baring Head is spectacular. You can look down to a lot more cycling below, although the track around the actual head is pretty rocky in places. The old community of buildings at the lighthouse is a joy to wander through, with many stories behind the pursed lips of boarded-up windows and doors.
Lunch was next to the lighthouse, with forever sea views: our professional photographer, Geoff, enjoyed a ramble with his camera while we chatted in the sun.
The trip back against the wind was hard work, except for Sylvia, who shot off at her usual speed and was soon several coves ahead of the rest of us, chugging along, heads down against the strong northerly. The trip time, including lunch, was 3 ½ hours. A gelato in Eastbourne was welcome after a hot return ride.
- Party members
- Mark Collinge (leader and scribe), Marg Conal, Sylvia Dixon, Mary Kane, Geoff Marshall, David Olsen, Jenny Olsen.