Day 16 – Pipiriki to Wanganui 78km

From the fastest day to the slowest day. Today, we wound our way down the Wanganui River.

With some trepidation about both my elbow and the gravel ahead, we set off. I had taken some drugs and strapped up the elbow so I hoped it would hold up.

We hit the gravel and took it very slowly. The first 3km was a slow up hill climb. Then a windy slow descent. We took it very slowly because the condition of the gravel was quite poor – lots of bull dust, and big lose gravel rocks. Pace was between 9-12km/hr both on the up and down hill.

First stop for the day was at Jerusalem, a historic convent and church. We had a quick poke around but the nuns were out for a walk. We had a quick break and a Cookie Time.

Back on the gravel, we had about 5km of gravel to go to Ranana and back to the sweet tarmac. The going was a bit faster with the condition of the gravel improving. Back on the sealed road, we reinflated the tyres and continued on.

Morning tea was at a lovely local cafe which had delicious home made baked goods.

Then as we followed the river downstream, it was hardly down hill going. It was rolling hills the whole way! Rude. In the heat of the day, we stopped for a swim in the river.

Final hill for the day was about 200m of climbing and lead to some fantastic views. We then completed the final km in to Wanganui.

Elbow held up ok. It was a bit sore with all the jittering on the gravel and uneven road surface but should be ok for the rest of the trip.

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