May 08, 2012

Triple Fun: Beaches, Bikes and scenic Byways

A room with a view. Despite certain spirits consumed the night before I woke up reasonably early to enjoy a wonderful sunrise.
We all seem to look a little hangover in that picture but that changed (somewhat) during breakfast.
After tea Geoff showed us his backyard, the views, where he launches the boat... I can assure you there was no bragging involved.
Roger and me. Honey, I can explain everything. The mate in his Sunday's best, all stripes and fluffy slippers.
Ok, that was too much information. Moving on, and coming to the absolute highlight of this weekend, and the posting that my dear readers are probably waiting for. Thank you for your patience!

There were two pairs of shiny keys waiting for me. One belonged to a Triumph Street Triple 675, the other one to Jennie's Mazda convertible.
(All moto-pics courtesy of Geoff)
Oh yeah, baby!
 Rogey in action!
 I can't believe it. That's not real. I am not here, it's all a dream.
 No, it's not. Pinch me again, and I'll kill you dead.
 Geoff taking close ups from the seat of the Mazda.
 Watching Roger, and mimicking his line.
 I was doing pretty well (or so I tend to believe).
22km of pure bliss.

This bike is incredible. (And I hear both guys say in sync: I told you so!) Nimble 170kg, a perfect seating position, anticipating every move, forgiving when taking it a bit too hot. Oh, it was GOOD. It was AWESOME. It was... better than... SEX even. Oh, well close enough, anyway. Yet again I am at a loss of words. It can't get any better than this.

Note to self: Need to ask Bobskoot, if we should go buy Street Triples. I know he loves them, too. Maybe we can cut a deal, if we were to buy two?

We stopped for coffee at the Whangapoua Store, where we chatted along with Steve Ferguson, store owner, rider (on motorized and pedal bikes) and avid blogger himself, who made the poor choice to live here all year round (that is when he isn't riding the Tour de France or the likes).
 Two like-minded spirits

Meanwhile, unnoticed by Geoff, I checked out the Mazda, and made myself again familiar with driving stick. Not only that I hadn't had a manual gearshift car in decades, it was also all on the wrong left side. However, I must be a natural (and a lefty anyway), because not once did I stall the engine.
 Looking good!
Geoff was back on his bike faster than I could say 'Let's Go', assuming lead position with Roger following closely. They were a great team! I bet, they made it back to Coromandel Town in under ten minutes, while I took the time to snap some pics of the vistas. If you ever come to New Zealand, these roads are a must, see for yourselves.

Feeding time was near, and we were all in the mood for some smoked delicacies. Roger picked up some goodies for Terry, and soon we had to part, this time for good.
It was tough to see him ride away on his red lightning. I will dearly miss his company.
 Good bye, Rogey and ride safely!

Meanwhile, my Tour de Coromandel wasn't finished yet, Geoff had some more seeing, and sighting in store for me. This is Coromandel Town Center.
 And its police station.
Another view from the James' house.

We visited Mike Cogswell, a friend of Geoff's and local potter. Here, we admire his artwork.
 Meet the artist.
 Share his view.
 Where the master must get his inspiration.

The road took us further up north, where it gives way to gravel, and the people are... well, different.
 Here you will find serenity in a Buddhist convent, if you like. Or live a hippie life.
 Or buy supplies in the last store before Nowhere.
Jennie and I were bathing in the late afternoon light before we turned around to have a final cup of tea at the James' house.

My heart is overflowing with joy and sadness at the same time as I have to leave those wonderful people and this miracle place. My head is still full of impressions from the people I met, and the land I have traveled, the roads, the green, the water, the beaches and the weather playing along so well.
And to make it extra hard on me, Coromandel says its own goodbyes to me in paramount pictures.
I make a vow to myself, that I will return one fine day. It has happened before, it will happen again.

Thank you Roger and family. Thank you, Geoff and Jennie. Thanks to the colleagues, bosses and coworkers, and all those wonderful people I had the pleasure and the fortune to meet on my journey.


  1. I hope you do return. I so enjoyed showing you around and enjoyed your company, it was like we had known each other for years. it was a pleasure.

    1. Ditto, Rog. I will have to work something out...

  2. Ditto as per Roger. We all had a ball, didn't we?

    Ok, so you got me in my PJ's, unshaven and un-showered in the third picture but at least we got Rogey in his stripes and furry slippers. Fashion icon? (choke)

    Mike Cogswell will be delighted that his "loo with a view" is being seen and admired across the globe!

    We feel sadness too, but maybe you'll bring Roland next time. And if you think Coromandel is nice, the South Island is waiting for you! And the Wet Coast waits for us in maybe 2014.

    Take care xx

    1. Geoff, you are too kind (given that I took your car keys with me...). I will make up for it next time we meet, and I so hope it won't be too long.
      I would be interesting to see what other PJs you own, and if Roger would be open wearing plaids instead of stripes.

  3. What a fabulous adventure! Isn't it amazing to connect with people like that? Thanks for the great trip report. Enjoyed it immensely.

    1. You bet. It was perfect. Thanks for reading!

  4. OMG! ok thats moving... er ok maybe not at this very moment... darn... FABULOUS journey you have had Sonja! and with fabulous friends! travel bikes cats and friends makes the world go round :)

    1. That's what I said. If it weren't for certain other obligations I would return tomorrow.

  5. Sonja:

    what an adventure you had. Good weather and good friends. Sorry I got behind, I had been reading with delight all the things you posted about but haven't commented until now. Such a build up, all the great photos and then actually spending time with Roger and Geoff (&Jennie), it feels like a dream fulfilled. How I wished I could have fit into your luggage.

    I'm not sure I could ride on the wrong side of the road, it would mix me up, but you seemed to manage just fine. You are a natural. I noticed you got very friendly with Roger, but we all know that "what happens in NZ, stays in NZ"

    I think I would also feel a bit of sadness leaving after spending a few days with two great people, but you still have photos and memories

    Riding the Wet Coast
    My Flickr // My YouTube

    1. Oh Bob, I often thought of you, knowing you would totally enjoy the banter of the two lads.

      I am pretty sure you would perfectly manage riding on the wrong side, and give those twisties a go.

  6. What a great ending to your time in NZ. It is so awesome that you got to meet Roger and his family and Geoff and Jennie.

    So many great people and great things to do.

    I love the last picture. It seems fitting for the last picture of the series.

    So........ when are you buying that Street Triple? And how does Rover feel about it.

    1. Good question. Currently I try to convince my CFO that owning two motorcycles would be perfectly in order... and that a Vespa should not count as motorcycle ;-) Rover hasn't left his warm place in the garage yet. Not sure when I will find the time to insure the bike or even ride it...

    2. A Street Triple is a perfect touring machine as well as for behaving badly on. Just tell Roland that the Devil made you do it (or those awful Kiwis).

  7. I love your pictures as well as the narrative. And I was wondering the same thing as Trobairitz...

    1. Working on it. Might take a while though as it requires lots of planning and a different budget.

  8. Sonja,
    Thanks so much for the share. It looks like a delightful time. The scenery and the narrative were wonderful, but I think the miracle of Geoff and Jennie, Roger and his family in their flesh and blood would be plenty enough for me.

    It does sound like you may have found your next bike. Staying tuned.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Keith. I could have done with the wonderful people only, but if they are throwing keys of their vehicles to me, who am I to resist ;-)

  9. AnonymousMay 11, 2012

    Was für ein wundervoller Trip für dich und dass dabei geschäftliches mit privatem verbunden werden konnte, unglaublich. Die Bilder sind der Hammer und macht unglaublich Lust auf Neuseeland. Gruss Rita

    1. Ich hatte wirklich Glueck, mit Leuten, Gegend und Wetter. Neuseeland ist eine Reise wert. Irgendwann werden Roland und ich noch einmal zusammen dorthin fahren, aber dann ausschliesslich privat...

  10. Dang Sonja, you sure you had time to get some work done amongst all that scenery/riding and camaraderie?


    Redleg's Rides

    Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

    1. Well, it's a matter of priorities, right? As a matter of fact the work week was quite tough, with often ten or twelve hours a day to keep up with both worlds...

  11. Stunning! Love the pics from the Miata. The greens and blues!

    I don't know. I can so see Rogey in stripes and plaids all together! :)

  12. What a great report - makes me want to go back to NZ, with a bike this time. It is an amazing place.