January 9, 2006

1/9/06 Havelock NZ

40.9 km / 40.9 km total

Dark and later overcast as we got up and headed to the train station. Even started to rain a bit. The 7AM train to Picton was pretty full. Sitting with was Hanna. She'd spent some time with her dad near Christchurch and was heading home to Blenheim. A pretty intelligent high school girl.

The train had an open observation car but it was pretty cold standing out there just to take a few pictures. The train follows the coast all the way. It reminded me a lot of California and Spain.

Taking the train to Picton along the coast

Mostly we followed the coast highway

Hanna was heading home to Blenheim

The sun finally broke through as we arrived in Picton, a town of about 4000 which is a major ferry point between the South Island and Wellington, the capital located across the channel on the North Island.

Had a great lunch at the 'Frog & Dog Cafe'. But I was anxious to get out on the road.

Had a great lunch in Picton

Our route took us up two climbs that gave us great views of the Sounds. Felt really good, the bike wasn't too heavy and the climbs felt pretty good for an overweight guy who hadn't been on a bike in over a week.

The water of the sounds were an amazing blue color. The shoreline was so steep, most of the lake houses could only be reached by boat. The road wound it's way up, down and around. A little scary because there were hundreds of blind corners.

The 'adventure' first started with a climb. Yippie!!!

The view of the port of Picton

Wonderful views along the road

Eventually we made it to Havelock, no worse for wear. Checked in at the motor camp, set up the tents quickly so we could get to the store before it closed. We later ate a very good dinner at 'The Clansman' restaurant.

Back at camp, met Scott, another cyclist from Iowa. And next door we have a very boisterous fun group from Christchurch. Well, getting tired, so I'll end here.

ACME added a bottle opener to the bike
and I got a chance to use it. [smile]