Wednesday 2 March 2016

Day 17 Notes

Picton to Nelson the hard way. Wow, the North of the South Island does not disappoint. I left Picton using Queen Charlotte Drive and it is just awesome. The ride to Momorangi bay is a cyclists dream, hills and good quiet roads, a few hills, fantastic views . Had to have a stop and have a dream for a wee while as those bays coming out of Picton are just amazing. On the road to Havlock North, then to onto Pelorus Bridge. I met Graham at Pelorus Bridge for coffee and muffin before tackling Maungatapu track the short cut to Nelson, a grade 4 Mtb track. Some short cut! it is much longer in time duration than the road even though it is 19k shorter. The climb up Maungatapu is relentless in places, it is not possible ( well for me ) to cycle and if you were doing 8km per hour you are going fast. It was not so much the gradient but the lack of traction as there is so much loose gravel that you just end up spinning. The views on the way to the top are amazing and make the trip worth it. At the top it is a little confusing as it is a cross road. I knew the correct direction was straight through but after all that work to get to the top you don’t want to screw up the road as it is just more climbing to get back. So the trip to the top of the saddle was hard and over an hour of climbing. The trip to the bottom; well let’s just say I think I used all my brake pads going down. I think this is the longest period I have ever used my brakes, it was for what seemed ages just gripping my brake as I slid downhill. This track was a grade 4 and well and truly is worthy of the grade 4 status. (expert level of mtb abilities for those not in the know). Once the track hit gravel road it was a smooth downhill trip all the way to Nelson. This is a great cycle but I possibly pushed my touring bike a little hard on the Maungatapu track a hard tail would be better.

Possie in Picton, yes those are train tracks and yes they did wake us up.

Down to Picton waterfront.

A duck meeting. Yes Sir.

Before the big day out. 

View from the road.

More great views

Lets just stop and take it all in. Fantastic. Want a bach here.

Bike parking at the lookout point.

Top of yet another hill.

Look at that water.

Feeding the driver coffee, very very important.

Cycling to the start of the track.

look how clear the water is. you can see the river bed 

Me almost coming acropper for a photo...   

Right just get over that mountain. ( then it get harder) 

River crossing not that successful wet feet.

Now in the South Island this is a gravel road.

I need a break. over a hour of up hill to this point.

Thats where we came from.


A break from holding onto the breaks.

The easy bit down hill all the way to Nelson.

The first hand held selfie (and possibly the last) 

Nelson. We made it.

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