11/17/18 – Popeye

Since I started my cycling tour I sleep neither long enough nor well enough. This morning I woke up even earlier than usual, got on my Brompton and arrived in Martinborough by 9am. I initially wanted to stay there and have a long day of rest but this weekend, one of the largest food and wine festivals in the country is taking place there. Everything was booked.

So I tried Fetherston, about 20km further. They only had tent sites available but I didn’t feel like sleeping in the tent.
So I decided to head to the beginning of Remutaka Cycle Trail, where I would have to cycle the next day anyway, and pitch my tent there. When I arrived, it was still early enough and the weather wasn’t nice, so I changed my mind again and started to pedal up the rough gravel road. After Timber Trail a few days ago, I vowed to avoid going through mountain trails again, to go easy on Greengo, but oops – I did it anyways. It was actually easier than I anticipated. There’s a spot on the trail called Siberia, because of the strong winds; I had never been to Siberia until today.
When I came down from the trail back onto the highway, I had done roughly 95km but it was still just 2pm.

I was 50km away from Wellington, the final stop of the Tour Aotearoa on the North Island. Why not? I still felt energetic, maybe all that ice cream I ate gave me strength like spinach for Popeye. Three hours later I was in downtown Wellington.
North Island is done! Now I’ll have a well deserved day off before sailing over to the South Island.

Today in numbers:

158 km – distance cycled, the longest so far on this trip
1648 km – distance cycled from Cape Reinga to Wellington
19 – days it took me to go through North Island
2nd – most populous city in New Zealand, Wellington is also the capital of the country