It seemed like a form of rather extreme training to us – biking around New Zealand to get ready for a bike tour of Ireland. That’s what fellow camper Gay told us at Piopio when we invited her to join us at our restaurant table for dinner. Gay had appeared at Piopio Cosmopolitan Club in the late afternoon, a slightly built older woman riding in on her bike – she seemed barely big enough to manage such a heavily laden bicycle. She related stories of biking around the South Island, and was on her way home to Thames, travelling 45kms or so each day before finding somewhere to camp each night. Her plan was to fly to Ireland, catch up with family, and then explore that delightful country on her bike. We waved her off on Thursday morning, tent packed up and stowed away with all her other necessary gear, as she set off towards Te Kuiti.
Goodbye to Gay
Later in the morning we walked around checking out the various pictures displayed around the village. A sign states: “We are a small town and proud to be rural. The artwork displayed is by local artists and depicts scenes from our local area.”
The current artist on display is Jo Gallagher
Situated on SH3, Piopio has a succession of large trucks thundering up and down the main street. Tankers, freight trucks, and those carrying heavy loads of logs, they all whizzed past on their way to somewhere or other. As we packed up to leave, the rain started to fall, and it looked like it was set to stay. Next stop, Mokau.