Two most unusal stories today during my two day ride from Waiouru to Taupo over the Desert Road. A fatal head on smash completely closed the Desert Road on the afternoon of 27 / 12, and when I approached the crash scene, authorities kindly let me pass, having sympathy that I had just completed pushing up a long and arduous hill. What this meant, was that on one of the roads busiest days of the year, I had the entire road to myself for around four hours. Twists, up hill, down hill, I really relished the opportunity to cover as many kilometres as I could. Coming onto night fall, and still some way from getting off the mountain, I decided to set up camp. And here the second interesting story begins. I pushed about a quarter of a kilometer up a disused bush track on the side of the Kaimanawa Range in Tongariro National Park, and pitched the hammock across the legs of an electricity pylon. I had checked about the safety of this before doing so, and was advised they are safe, but not be climbed. It was bitterly cold and I climbed into my sleeping bad in full riding kit with a a pair of long johns over my sox for good measure. Then a balaclava insde the bag’s hood. Warm as toast, and feeling relatively safe as there was long grass on the track signalling no traffic for some weeks. Then at 3.17am, a diesel motor approached my camp site. Who could it be. My mind checked off the possibilities, thieves, drug dealers, electricity linesmen? The vehicle did not stop for some distance, but I could still hear faint voices. Should I get out of my warmth and investigate, or stay put. So I stayed put, awakening round 6.00 from a light sleep. Breaking camp for an early start, and the motor reappears. I was now completely ready for what ever – and, it was three bee-keepers in their truck, unloading hives of bees. After being advised this was the best time for such an activity, new friendships were made, and headed for Taupo. A steady slight head wind and more hill, arriving into Taupo at 6.15pm amidst a large round of applause and cheers from over 100 holiday makers sitting at lakeside cafes. Quite humbling. Was shouted an evening meal and refreshments after countless photos. ENDS. Photos – Stroung head wind on Desert Road / Summit / Campsite – shaving Regards DW


One thought on “DAVID WILSON UPDATE 28 12 11

  1. lucy says:

    The generous bar owner that shouted the evening meal and refreshments was sadly killed on 21 Jan when he lost control of his motorbike. He was really stoked to have met you. I have a couple of good photos with you both outside the bar when you arrived in Taupo

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