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The Marlborough Sounds

part 2

by Pamela Blalock

We hooked up with Simon, Cara and Aria that evening, but we were staying at different places - got our wires crossed, and ended up not having dinner together. We found a great hostel in the meantime that could accomodate us all the next night, AND would cook us a great meal. I booked for John and myself. Simon and Cara would decide the next morning what to do. They'd ridden through the heavy shower the day before and Aria did not enjoy it.

Well, the next morning we had cool temps and strong winds. The forecast for the following day was for a major storm, so Simon and Cara decided to head home. They did ride half the day with us up to the saddle and lunch, but then we parted ways as John and I headed down to the bay, before going back to the hostel, and Simon, Cara and Aria returned to Te Mahia and then home.

Lunch was quite chilly. It was still a bit overcast and windy, but Simon certainly warmed the mood, when he pulled a box of Petit Ecolier cookies from his pannier. A mate of his had been travelling in Europe recently and he got him to bring them back. The look on my face must have been priceless, since for a brief period I thought he had found a NZ source. This was still the best surprise ever!

Sadly, we headed off in opposite directions, and amazingly the sun came out. Titirangi Bay was gorgeous!

The sun came out, but it took me a while to warm up. I stole John's jacket in the meantime. I have a wool top, arm warmers, a vest and two jackets in this photo!

Yes, that little ribbon down below is our road!

We had a great ride back to the hostel and a fabulous meal. That night the biblical rains returned. The next morning I refused to leave the warm dry hostel, as did the three hikers who were staying. While 170 mm of rain fell, we read, played scrabble and I made a sad attempt to do a 1000 piece puzzle. It was a wise choice. The next day, we had fine spells, with a brief bit of hail, but mostly sunshine. But we rode past numerous landslides and piles of rock in the road.

It is a truly lovely area, and I do look forward to getting on the trail in a drier season.

But now, sadly it's off to work for me!