From North to South
map of the journey
Picture perfect day in Taupo, but rain the next morning. It started raining at 7 am but I had my tent already dry in my bags at that time and at 6.30 a coffee on my way to Turangi (best trout fishing in NZ). The Desert Road was very wet at that day and offered very limited sight to the Tongariro vulcanoes. A long day and in the evening heavy rain at the campsite in Mangaweka. But the kitchen was dry and therefore my main focus that evening. I heard disturbing very loud noises that night, and figured out that this were huge rocks that fell down the cliffs into the river. I met the man who is running that nice campsite two days later in the Interislander Ferry to Picton, NZ is a rather small world.
A small and rather hilly road brought me to Palmerston North with its famous Rugby Museum, and I decided to something out of the ordinary that afternoon: cinema, well as Moneypenny said: its called life, you should try it yourself, James... Next morning, half an hour cycling to the train station, to my knowledge the only train that transports bicycles without booking in NZ: 6.15 am to 8.35 am in Wellington, a little bit late, but I made it to the 9 o'clock Interislander ferry to Picton. Queen Charlotte Drive to Linkwater and a small road parallel to Queen Charlotte Track to the Marlborough Sounds, or more exactly Kenepuru Sound. That road was not straight for 50m in horizontal (curves) or vertical (hills) direction. Next morning rain again unfortunately, but sun in the afternoon in Nelson and Richmond. I booked a campsite in Abel Tasman NP and a water taxi back to Marahau in Motueka and it didn't take much guessing that the girl who did that for me was from Austria (living for 6 years in NZ by now) and I was able to pinpoint her to Tyrol (bischd a Tiroler, bischd a Mensch...), to the other ones, Pākehā from NZ or tourists, the conversation that followed was in te reo...
Btw quite a few Germans immigrated to an area nearby: Upper Motuere in the 1840s. With more bad weather ahead I decided to cycle to Farewell Spit via the 800m high Takaka Hill, another dead end unfortunately. Waikoropupu Springs are nearby, about 11000 litre of reputedly the worlds clearest water surge up every second and the mean 'age' of that water is about 10 years.
I spent two nights in Takaka with a nice trip to Farewell Spit with less than nice weather. Back to Motueka tomorrow and then another 'Great Walk' in Abel Tasman NP.