I left Puriri with the intentions of heading for Sapphire Hot Springs in Katikati but somehow missed the turning at Waihi. Not sure what happened but think there may have been a by-pass round the town. Anyway, after a long drive and the ‘’Hill from Hell’’, which according to my GPS went from 35 meters above sea level to 435 meters above sea level in 20 kilometres I arrived at the roundabout where I took the bus for MOT. I had managed to do a complete circle and cut right through the Coromandel Range on the SH 25A. Mental note. Never use the SH25A again.
This now called for plan B. There was no plan B but had to come up with something. The nearest place I could find was Miranda hot springs. I rolled up there about 4:30 and booked a pitch. Put my washing in then went for a shower and the Idea was a soak in the hot pools. Thought I had better check in with base camp so texted our Mel to let her know where I was. She text back that as it was only about 40 minutes away they would come up and we could go to the best fish and chip shop in Kaiaua and the dog could have a run on the beach. And so it came to pass. Bit of seasonal jargon there you may have noticed. They dropped me off around 9 ish and I went for my long soak in the thermal pools, then bed.
Next morning stripped the bedding and put it in for a wash and then another soak in the pools before a shower and prepared for the next leg. Last night we had noticed a free parking area called Rays Rest. The plan was I would spend the following day or two parked up there on the beach. The site is an important bird sanctuary and when I got there around mid-day I found it was only for Motorhomes with self-containment certificates. So move on I guess. Ended up at Mercer, down by the river. A lovely spot and according to my book there was free parking. However, it seemed the parking was actually in the petrol station car park. The proximity to an Irish bar and a food court made me think it might get noisy later in the night so I decided to head back to Mel’s for the night.
No back safely on her path but most pleased with the brakes and the ability to stop.