Friday, January 28, 2011


____From Charleston to Westport, a short day and a tent site at Carters Beach; where I leave the panniers and go into town before riding out to the lighthouse at Cape Foulwind. Named by Captain Cook; it probably can be a bit rough on a bad day, but when I was there, it was sunshine and a light breeze. Well over a week of fine weather on the west coast. Westland, so shortened to Wetland.

____A long day along the banks of the Buller River, from Westport; sea-level, to Murchison at a elevation of 208 metres in 106 kilometres. The first 26 miles being the course of the Buller Marathon, running down stream.

____More bankside riding by the Buller to start the day from Murchison but then a long winding climb over the Hope Saddle; a higher crossing of the Southern Alps than the Haast Pass. A steep twisting descent has the brake pads smelling hot; then twenty kilometres downhill in top gear to the rustic camping called Quinneys at the small township of Motupiku.

____Another saddle on Highway 6, Spooners Saddle, before Nelson. But a fine cycle track alongside the coast, from Richmond into the heart of Nelson’s port area. A compact little town with plenty of cyclists out and about in the sunshine. Laundry needs to be done; so I book two nights at the Nelson City Motor Camp, small but close to the town centre. The first rain since leaving Haast comes during the night; but the morning dawns clear and bright, if a little windy.
A bar dedicated to a truck marque.

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