Doesn't it frustrate you when you visit a place, and the weather isn't great, and all the locals say "huh huh, must've brought it with you!"? Then you start to think, "shit, maybe I did bring it with me...." Seems like that's what has happened on this trip so far, not that it's been too bad, actually until this morning we've been pretty lucky. Yesterday we hit Wellington for our sojourn to Makara Peak, a jewel in NZ's mountain biking crown. After leaving Carterton in rain, it was sunny skies in the windy city, with the temperature almost bordering on warm! After picking up some new disc pads at Mud Cycles, we were soon winding our way up the buffed singletracks to the summit of Makara. The trails were a bit wet in places after a few days of rain, but still brought wide grins to our faces as we traversed the hillside. Christian was stomping the climbs, but wasn't too keen on the cliffs on the side of the trails on the way down. He still rated it as some of the best riding he'd ever done (especially the climbs!) When we got back to the carpark we were covered in mucho crap, and washed our bikes and bodies in the freezing creek water before heading into town to our motel. After a few pre-dinner beers, we feasted on huge steaks and burgers at an Irish pub, where a singer/guitarist was having a crack. We played 'guess the riff' for awhile, when our ears pricked up as he strummed the opening chords to the Pixies' 'Where Is My Mind'. An apt question as we were being beaten in pool by a couple of young English backpacking lasses who just happened to be from Newcastle (UK of course). They were frustrated with our lack of attention to the game as we coaxed our new hero Saali into playing 'Gouge Away' and 'Monkey Gone to Heaven'. We doubted his ability to replicate the gutteral scream of the famous Frank Black line 'God is 7', but we were blown away by his awesome rendition, and showed our appreciation by buying him a Monteiths Original Ale (our official travelling brew) as reward. We were even so kind as to offer him some of the girls' cigarettes, to which they reluctantly complied. The walk home consisted of a fruitless search for hot chips which we'd seen some guy eating, then walking straight past our motel, and running the gauntlet of the hookers parked on every dark corner.
We were tee'd up to meet up with Col from Vorb.co.nz this morning, but awoke to howling winds (normal for Wellington) and rain, prompting us to play the 'no riding today' card. We still met up with him though for a coffee and he gave us some pointers on where to ride down South. Then it was back up the 'Rapa to clean up our filthy steeds and into town for more Monteiths. Rotorua awaits, hopefully with no rain and the promise of more sweet singletrack.