Picton to Nelson

They made another really early start and really enjoyed the ride.  On forestry roads at times and there was a walk of about an hour and a half up some really steep terrain.  They arrived in Nelson full of beans at about 3pm.  I made a connection with a Gordon who offered accommodation in Nelson on the TA Facebook site.  After connecting the dots it turns out it is Gordon who I travelled across Asia with in 1988 (Kathmandu London Trip)  Amazing small world.  He did TA in 2016.  Geoff had a great talk with him, however the boys decoded to carry on to Richmond for the night.  Here are some shots Geoff’s sent through of the Maungatapu saddle.

 

Thoughts from Miles on the ferry

Team – we are on the ferry and Picton to night.
Sadly, we made our farwells to Jeremy this afternoon – he is having a day with Christine. It has been an absolute pleasure riding with him.
The landscapes and folk we are meeting are amazing.
One freezing day we knocked on a door asking if we could buy a coffee. We stayed about an hour and they are our new best friends!
Bodies and bikes continue to perform well though yesterday’s 180 km was jolly tiring.
It’s easy to spot the tour riders – sunken eyes, hollow cheeks dirty and smelly !
Be great to begin the south island tho we know there are some hellish hills to come.
It really is the most amazing adventure, mentally and physically and we will bore you for a long time with our exaggerated stories !
All the best to all.
Miles.

Featherston to Picton

After a very luxurious night in the Fetherston hotel, they headed off for Wellington.  A quick stop for soup and then straight onto the 2.35 ferry.  Geoff said the Rimutuka trail was really lovely.  They are past half way now.

Palmy to Featherston

Wow they did 182 ks today.  Like yesterday quite a lot on gravel roads  but today was a lovely fine day.  When they got to Masterton they couldn’t find any accommodation so they decided to push on to Featherston.  Fetherston is 1480 kms from the cape.  So in about 20 ks they will be half way!!!

Plan tomorrow is to arrive in Wellington and get an afternoon ferry.

Here’s a comment and photo from Jeremy

Thought you might like a non cycling photo today, rode 182km from Palmerston north and now staying at the very cool Featherstone hotel circa 1904 with a steam punk inspired restoration…..check out the plumbing on this loo; off to Wellington tomorrow.

 

Hunterville to Palmy

A 156 kilometre day and it took 11 hours (including stops) and about 40% was on gravel.  They had rain and head winds and it has got a lot colder.

At one point they thought they would take shelter at a barn, but it turned out to have 2 artists living in it and they took them in and made them coffee.

They went through Opaki and wanting lunch there was nothing open at all.  They only had 3 tins of tuna between all of them.  Jeremy rang a place and they said they are closed for a function.  But they said if you come by they can give them something.  So they turned up and were brought out some wedges which they devoured.

Geoff and Miles went off to the supermarket in Palmy to get dinner supplies.  I think it was a a steak dinner.

Two shots.  On the way to Ashhurst, and More fruit tree raiding after Hunterville.

Whanganui to Hunterville

After lunch, bike repairs, chemist supplies and a trip to countdown for nibble supplies,  they left Whanganui for Hunterville.  Long ride on the roads now.  Geoff said he loved the trails through the bush, The bike has gone rally well, suspension a blessing and makes the down hill in particular really fun.  The riding on the roads is not as enjoyable.  Just put your head down and ride.  Apparently they have lots of hills as they head off from Hunterville towards Palmy.

Wave 4 leaves the cape today.  It’s amazing to think that there are all these people riding the country at the moment.  Here’s the tracker site again for those that want to have a look.

https://touraotearoa2018.maprogress.com/?id=11991

All the best for wave 4, 5 and 6 as they start on this journey.

Anne meets them in Whanganui

Thanks Anne for meeting them in Whanganui.  She did a mercy dash to the chemist to get supplies for their bottoms!!.  Here’s some shots of them in the bike shop.  Getting brakes and trees sorted.

Jo sends in a message and photos

What a adventure this is! expect the unexpected. I’ve been 99 % riding solo but meeting loads of people along the way. Sitting in bed in Featherston listening to the torrential rain and glad I’m not camping. Some memorable days were joining a group of hunters at the blue duck lodge last Saturday night & being treated to fresh trout from the whanganui river, venison, pork and beer 🍺, following a wild boar up the river road from pipiriki – hope pic is clear. Narrowly missing a kamakazee sheep out of apiti, being chased by 3 dogs and the last one was going to have me on an uphill section so I turned around and chased him instead- luckily he skulked off. Have been staying in in a few dingy hotels including Eketahuna and Featherston- perfectly fine- tea coffee, BATH food and 🥂 and nice friendly staff.had moments when I was awestruck by the scenery and moments when I hated it- 50 km headwinds for hours yesterday on highways. Have learned; less is more, you have to carry everything,laden bikes are a hassle on the trails, eat real food ( I’m doing a nationwide smoothie survey) , talk to people- local advice is priceless, take care in the dangerous sections- there’s no prizes for getting to Bluff early, clean and lube your chain religiously,Take pictures and here’s a few… hope all of you the guys are having an awesome time as well

Here’s a comment from Malcolm who did the TA in 2016

Hi TA Warkworth battlers. Im loving the armchair experience of watching you guys on GPS tracker and the updates. Its an incredible challenge and I’m there with you in mind and experience. You are all doing so well. Jo with her endurance, Mike with his dogged persistence and rugged living and Miles Jeremy Paul Jim and Geoff with their team work. Im impressed with your endurance and I’m sure its a life time experience for you all.
Go hard!!! Cheers Malcolm