Leaving my camp spot 🎪 was a bit of a mission as I’ve to cross a pipeline bridge. So one thing at a time.
The plan from here was to cycle up the Mai Tai valley, but due to works taking place on the road it was closed. And closed properly it was with a big-bugger-off-gate! 🚧 Back I turn up the valley to Nelson. Only five or so km’s, so no worries.
Something I’ve desired to do for a long time was depose of my big-pocketed-cotton-cargo-pants. Not only are they heavy, but also take up a lot of room in my bulging panniers. After purchasing a pair of Columbia lightweight pants 👖 from Mountain Designs, a visit to the local Salvation Army’s deposit bank was then the last order of service in Nelson.
I depart Nelson via the plentiful cycle ways.
I’m treated before I leave, to the highland sounds of a bag-pipe band practicing in the morning sun. Scottish 🏴 heritage in New Zealand is in abundance, and keen to show their family line.
The road out of Nelson was one almighty climb. Seemed to never end. Ultimately arriving in the mussel town of Havelock. Food supplies replenished.
The sign out of Havelock towards Picton reads: Narrow Winding Road. Which for some peculiarly reason seemed to keep the campervan fraternity at bay. Happy Days! 😀 Narrow winding road, they need to try a good Cornish road, as this seemed like a highway in comparison!
The Queen Charlotte Drive up to this point was without a doubt the most scenic road I’ve ever ridden. It hugs the Marlborough Sound, throughout, and offers some truly beautiful vistas.
Except for a camp ground (which I’m not yielding to) it was looking fairly sparse regarding wild camping as the road was taken up on both sides by private dwellings. Eventually, I noticed what looked like a narrow trail leading up a sharp wooded climb. I scampered up. Discovering a flattish piece of ground under an electricity pillion ⚡ It was quite a haul up with my bike and bags, but worth it. If it’s difficult for me to reach, then the chance of mankind intervention is very slim. My secluded spot in addition offered extensive views of the sound.
Picton was not what you’d dub your average ferry terminus ⛴️ Set in a spacious bay surrounded by hills and forest.
A lunch spot is found under a palm tree near the water’s edge, and I indulge in a tub of mussels.
The afternoon push is made towards Blenheim. Not quite arriving there for the day, but encamping below a cemetery 🪦 fifteen kilometres or so out! My first graveyard sleep. It was quiet!
Blenheim is another fruit-growing town and feeds the wineries of the Marlborough region 🍷 A very well-known exporter of good wine.
Photos generally shot with an Olympus TG5 – As I found out in editing, the HDR (High Dynamic Range) setting is not appropriate for shooting by hand, with moving objects and sunlight. But hey … they’re vibrant! 😄 Occasional use of a Google Nexus 6P.
The map is interactive. Click on the route or icons for detail.