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The Marlborough Sounds

part 1

by Pamela Blalock

My sister requested more pictures, less words - claims she has Attention Deficit Disorder! This one is for you, sis!

We had hoped to ride along the Queen Charlotte Track this week, but it has been a very wet and muddy spring. To be fair, the weather has actually been quite changeable. We have spectacularly sunny days followed by days with biblical rain. This has left the tracks a bit muddy. Given those conditions and the fact that the forecast was for more of the same, we decided to take our touring bike out to the sounds and just ride on gravel and sealed roads, and save the track for a drier time of the year.

Simon, Cara and Aria planned to join us, but the week worked out as one of those where the weather changed dramatically on a daily basis!


So John and I drove out to Pelorus Bridge and started our tour from there. The first day we rode from Pelorus to Te Mahia, where we caught a water taxi out to Hopewell. We'd stayed at the hostel there back in the autumn when we first attempted some of the Queen Charlotte Track, with Simon and Aria. We enjoyed it so much that we wanted to return and explore the area.

We planned to spend two nights there and do a loop from the hostel without all our gear. Well our loop day had about 50 mm of rain, 50km of riding and 1300 metres of climbing. We loved the ride, but also loved having a warm fire in the common room when we returned. I slowly hung all our stuff near the stove (rotating things in and out as stuff dried).

The next day started out clear and cold. We arranged to meet Simon, Cara and Aria at Punga Cove.

We figured we'd cycle over, have lunch, check in, dump our panniers, and go explore more.

But just as we were finishing lunch, another shower rolled in, and dampened my enthusiasm for riding.