296km - 4hrs : 16min
A foggy start to the day, and a delay while we waited for the sun to clear the hillside and penetrate all the way down to our campsite at the bottom of the valley.
On the road and we start to retrace part of our route out of Wellington 10 days earlier. Climb up and out of the valley stopping at Stormy Point lookout to admire the view. Fantastic! Clear skies to the north and west allow us to see all the way back to Tongariro. Below us in the river terraces, the morning mist is slowly clearing. The weather gods promise yet another perfect day.
Back through Ashhurst and the Manuwatu Gorge and on to Pahiatua for fuel before heading east for a loop through the Makuri Gorge and Pongaroa. Here we turn south again, heading back to Masterton for lunch, fuel and supplies for our last night out on the road.
We head for Castlepoint on the coast. No free camping, so a night of relative luxury in the local caravan park. Electricity, hot showers and a kitchen with tables. Also a great view out to the rock and the lighthouse.
Tomorrow will be our last day on the road. We're planning another back road loop before the last stretch into Wellington!