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  • by Rolf Mueller Glodde

Waiheke to Wellington by e-bike: Our diary for the last few days to The Beehive

Day 23: Tauherenikau to Lake Ferry An early start was dictated by the train schedule from Featherston to Maymorn (only one train at 8:25 today) for the cycle team of Lindsay, Bill, Darleen, Arnelle and Mike, so they could do the Rimutaka Cycle Trail from the Hutt Valley back across to Lake Wairarapa. Terry & Ali chose another route again as they headed for Wellington.

First up, Darleen gave us a Karakia before taking off with Kaitiaki in her vest. Both keeping each other warm on this chilly day. Lynda went off to meet a friend, while Inge & Rolf drove the campervan along the fabulous Western Lake Road to offer the bikers a hot drink after their traverse of the mountain. They failed to find the cyclists. Eventually Rolf hopped on his little foldable bike and rode towards them. A ride of 16km including the last 2 km of the Cycle Trail before returning to the van with a chilly head wind and without finding the team. One last attempt was made to meet them by the campervan around and eventually, Lindsay appeared followed by the others not too far behind. We then broke the ‘good news’ to them; there was a further 46km to go to Lake Ferry.

Our offer for coffee and tea at the junction after a further 16km was happily accepted but the thought of another 30km in chilly conditions was not enticing. It was decided to pack the bikes into the trailer and all hop into the camper for a ride to Lake Ferry (8 people instead of the permitted 4 with seatbelts!).

The holiday park office was unattended and calling on the provided phone number led to the message “Don't leave a message - I won’t check it anyway!” Best send a text message”. The nearby Lake Ferry Hotel (established in 1851) looked far more attractive so the whole gang checked in there instead. A warm place with dining options looked to be a better option.

Following the drowning of someone in 1850, a ferry service had been established was but because the ferry work did not provide the ferryman with sufficient income, it was further decided to grant him a hotel licence.

Only Inge & Rolf returned to the holiday park properly registered to spend the night with the howling wind - but reliable heating system :)

Everyone agreed that it had been a wonderful day!

Day 24: Lake Ferry to Lower Hutt

What a day!

Darleen checked the bikes and 2 were not properly charged. The solar powered trailer battery was empty after 3 days of cloudy weather. Thus, after Darleen's Karakia, Lynda took Lindsay and Bill with their bikes by car to Ocean Beach on the other side of the lake (about 40km), while the 2 undercharged bikes has got plugged in at the camping ground’s laundry.

The proposed trip along the coast proved to be too tough in the weather conditions, so Lindsay and Bill biked from Ocean Beach up the Western Lake Road towards us. We drove the campervan down to Ocean Beach to also have a look at this amazing place that only had a few simple baches. Kaitiaki loved the view of this rugged coast!

We all caught up at Maymorn and the cyclists and support vehicles headed down to the Top 10 Holiday Park at Lower Hutt. A broken bike chain caused some temporary distress, but we managed to arrive in time for the public meeting at the Petone Library attended by a mere 3 but very interested participants.

Then the XR (Extinction Rebellion) meeting in Wellington, where speakers stressed the urgency of actions against climate change. We heard from:

Kevin Hague CEO of Forest and Bird: Biodiversity James Renwick: Climate change: The facts Raven Maeder and Sophie Handford: School Strike For Climate Patrick Morgan: Transport and climate Amanda Larsson from Greenpeace

and others

Day 25: Lower Hutt to the Beehive in Wellington

We did it; successfully and with TV1 coverage!!

Robin’s connections cumulated in 7 Sharp to feature our last leg into Wellington. The TV crew arrived early at 9am for interviews and video shots of the bikes and cyclists as well as the trailer.

And then they positioned their camera to catch the procession on the way from Lower Hutt along the motorway and onto the Beehive with a few supporters and Green MP Chloe Swarbrick, who warmly accepted “Our Climate Change Declaration” and Carbon Neutral NZ Trust’s “Submission Voucher” for the Zero Carbon Bill. We also entrusted our beloved Kaitiaki to Chloe to guide Parliament through the process of the Zero Carbon Bill negotiations and deliberations - if not with her own seat, then maybe on the Speaker’s lap (he loves babies!).

We sincerely hope and expect that Kaitiaki’s guidance as he guardian of the land, sea and sky will be honoured and respected. It was encouraging to have some personal friends from Kerikeri, Waiheke Island and Wellington joining us despite the drizzling rain.

The team rewarded itself with a nice lunch at the Backbenchers Gastropub across from the Beehive before riding back to the Top 10 Holiday Park in Lower Hutt.

Needless to say, eyes were glued to TV1 "7 Sharp” to see the result of our efforts: a nice emotional aspect of elderly activists aiming to preserve the world for future generations. Unfortunately, the Zero Carbon Bill and the Carbon Calculator as a practical tool for personal reduction of the carbon footprint remained unmentioned. Nevertheless, the publicity was welcomed and celebrated.

Day 26: Departure for return home

The "Free Volto” trailer was now hooked to Lindsay’s and Lynda’s car for the speedy return trip to Waiheke Island with a planned overnight stop at the DeBrett hot pool in Taupo to celebrate their wedding anniversary: congratulations! Darleen and Armelle joint them in the car.

Rolf & Inge plan to tiki-tour via Cape Palliser and quiet back country roads to avoid the traffic over the Easter and Anzac Day holidays and expect to reach Kerikeri by end of April.

This concludes our reporting about our adventure, but some summarising thoughts may follow after a bit of reflection…. Thanks for joining us!

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