Bike Odyssey
New Zealand 2004

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Journal for 8-Mar-2004 : Picton

Misty drizzly rain greeted us today as we left Cable Bay. Road back to the highway almost as much fun as yesterday, diminished only by the rain.

Met Echart from Germany (sorry if that's spelt wrong - who am I kidding I *know * it's spelt wrong! Sorry) cycling Nelson to Havelock today. Nice guy. He was most encouraging in the sense that he agreed New Zealand drivers treatment of cyclists left more than bit to be desired, but added it was much worse than anywhere in Europe. Same deal with the coarse NZ road surfaces, which are as rough as a baby's ...

A couple of decent climbs, the first over 350m high, the second over 250m high. I was rather pleased to get over those in one piece. Pretty nice riding down the Ria valley and later the Pelorus valley and pelorus (should be perilous) bridge.

Met English cycle tourist at Havelock, riding a Bike Friday. At 3pm we had 35ks to go. He had 135!

Absolutely fantastic riding along Queen Charlotte Dr. This is some of the best cycling we've ever done. It is a very twisty windy road around and sometimes over the edges of Queen Charlotte Sound. Great fun cycling and pretty impressive scenery to boot. The road is lined mostly with native forest as well as great views of the Sound. Only a relatively small section passed through the ubiquitous New Zealand sheep farms.

Rather tired by Picton. Ate dinner in a Café in Town that seemed to be called "come in here for bottomless coffee" (not quite like topless coffee).

Picton is a fairly compact little town. So compact it's quicker to walk than drive most places. While eating dinner we noticed the town's entire fire brigade decked out in protective clothing and breathing masks wandering down the main street. Their engine didn't follow till a few minutes later.

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