Day 79 Blazing Saddles!

Looking like a cracking day

Looking like a cracking day


6.30pm Top 10 holiday park Picton

Cycling is a pain in the bum! That’s my conclusion after a trial run today. I hired a mountain bike for the day from Marlborough Sounds Adventure Co here in Picton (60 bucks) and headed for the hills. The saddle slowly but surely shrank and hardened until it became an axe head. well that’s what it felt like. My poor bum is going to suffer! Replace feet blisters with pelvic bruising for my next quest. Add some severe chaffing. And the worrying thing is I was only on the axe head for about 2 hours!

The weather and the scenery were simply stunning. It’s the turquoise/azure sea with the steep greens hills that does it for the Marlborough Sounds every time. Add the sunshine, an island or two and a slowly cruising white ferry or yacht and its a perfect combination.

Went up the mountain bike trail to Waikawa Bay and then on the road to Karaka Point. Stopped for a break there when I met Chas in his motor home. Chas is a very young looking 68 year old kiwi who has been living in Queensland. He was really interested in what I was doing and wanted to help however he could. He’d love to be doing what I am doing and looked fit enough too, his problem was his knee probably needs an operation on it. We had a really good chat, exchanged phone numbers and photos. Chas has family in NZ and is looking round the top of the South Island to buy a place he can come back to when it gets too hot in Aussie. Convinced him to invest in some trekking poles to help his knees.

Talking of knees, my problem right knee isn’t quite “right” and i felt it getting hot and sore up some of the steeper mountain track bits, it was okay on the roads which were mostly flat.

Id taken a pair of socks to wear if my feet got sore but ended up stuffing them down my shorts for padding instead. Mainly because my arse felt liked a caned public schoolboys I got off and walked the track to “the snout” which is a peninsula jutting out into the Bay. It took a couple of hours to walk there and back but I met Camilla, a Danish student, at the end and we walked back together (luckily I wasn’t wearing my socks in my shorts at this point as this could have been hard to explain without my bike!). She was a nice girl who had grown up a lot while here in NZ once she had left the friend she had travelled over with. This had made her overcome her natural shyness and tendency to let her friend lead on everything. She was a bit older than Amie but doing a similar gap year, she’d done some woofing and was currently working the late shift at a Picton backpackers. She is going to take a degree in physiotherapy back in Denmark where apparently the government ( I.e. taxpayers) pay students to study! We laughed about what I knew about Denmark (capital Copenhagen, big island is Jutland, Vikings, not bad football team, danish bacon and Danish blue cheese was about it!). Mind you when we talked she said there wasn’t that much more to it (no mountains, invented the windmill before the Dutch, has 5 million people, free health service). She loved NZ but was ready to go home at the end of April.

Gingerly got back on the axe head which I’m sure someone had sharpened while I was walking and winced my way down the trail back to town. I had planned to then cycle to Anikiwa (about a 3 hour round trip) but talked myself out of it and had a coffee and session on the internet back at the bike hire place.

Picton is pretty full of Germans, sure there are other nationalities, there’s a sereotypical loud slow speaking yank playing bridge in the lounge as I write, quite a few Aussies, there’s a few French, a few scadanavians but main tourist numbers are German. Nothing wrong with that of course. The Only POM’s I’ve met here were a couple from near Weston Super Mare. They had come over for 7 weeks and were loving it. The lady had had the time of her whole life swimming with up to 200 dolphins off Kaikoura and also was blown away with their overnight stay on board a boat in Doubtful sound. You could see the joy in her eyes as she recounted her experience, nearly got me going seeing how it had so moved her.

Karaka point for a karacking view

Karaka point for a karacking view

My first Weka sighting (they like apples)

My first Weka sighting (they like apples)


My new friend Chas

My new friend Chas

Walking to "the snout" You can tell how relieved I am to be off the saddle

Walking to “the snout” You can tell how relieved I am to be off the saddle

Gotcha fantail! finally captured one on film...just

Gotcha fantail! finally captured one on film…just

Decided to make my own tea, a bit cheaper and healthier.. Made a surprisingly nice aubergine curry with risotto rice. Enjoying a bottle of Pinot Noir afterwards in the warmth of the kitchen. There’s been some really strong gusts outside so better go and check if my tent is still there.

Lionel is coming to pick me up in Picton Tomorrow morning and we may do a walk or a kayak on way through to Nelson (not a cycle… Although I have bought a pair of padded cycle shorts this evening)

4 thoughts on “Day 79 Blazing Saddles!

  1. You are looking sickingly healthy each time despite a poorly knee and soon to show increased anal definition. Lake Somerset has now gone thanks to the dutch pump (sure that was a bar in Amsterdam). Am looking forward to watching the rugby world cup with you as our boys are looking pretty damn good. We have had some glorious sunshine the last few weeks and things have taken off in the green house. I noticed you have not put your broad beans in yet. I took my first spoonful of chilli jam made from the chillis you gave me before you set off………….bloody!!!! Plenty to share with you as your soon to be defined anal muscles will be needed. There is a bit of a shindig at the village pub this weekend. Kay & Steve are urging people down there so may just go leaving the girls at home. I will remember you to them. I am certainly looking forward to the film show upon your return…not sure about squash though. Just made my second comeback this year, last night ,after a calf injury 3 weeks ago. Still I know I can always beat you at table tennis and having more birthdays than you on April 11th. Keep going mate, it’s kind if inspirational. Tony

    • Hey Tony, Great to hear from you. Don’t think I’ll be showing increased anal definition on the blog but seeing as you are a close mate I will give you a private viewing when I get home! Marie has recorded all the six nations so thinking I’ll be propped up by cushions watching these late into the night while getting over the jet lag. Please can you put a few extra broad beans in for me and anything else you’ve got spare I’ll have to fill my sparse allotment. Thanks for providing the challenge to beat you at TTennis, although I fear this will be harder than the Te Araroa trail. Good luck with the injury free squash and looking forward to a few shindigs with you in the months to come.

  2. Hey nick
    Congrats on phase one and hope the next bit is equally rewarding 🙂
    Maybe you could lose the beard for the girls and keep the sideburns !
    Serious cyclists go for waxing options ?!
    Looking good little bro xx
    I will be walking 1 mile with the school tomorrow for sports relief
    Lots of love jan

    • Hey Jan! one mile eh? good on ya. Thanks for the support and the waxing advice (is that what they call a “back, sack and crack”?). My sideburns are a bit pathetic really (have to do a “Bobby Charlton” comb over from my chin for every photo but glad you’ve not spotted this!). Hope you get a tan on your walk! lots of love to you and all the Durnos. Not heard from the bro since he got back (some good things just take time). looking forward to seeing you all before I get fat again! I will come and spend a weekend or two at mums in May to catch up and do work on the house. xx

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