Olga and Sergei (friends of friends of friends), who gave me refuge in their Wellington home, fed me as if they were preparing me for the slaughterhouse: home cooked breakfast, lunch, dinner, tea with pie and pancakes in between. To top it off, Olga sent me away with a supply of snacks and Sergei drove me to the ferry for South Island. I am very grateful for their generous hospitality.
I sailed into the night and into the cold: it was just 3°C. Isn’t it supposed to be summertime here? I am better prepared than on my Northern Argentina cycling trip, but still…
Over the strait, I was over the hump: there’s a shorter distance left to cycle than already covered. It is still quite sizable: 1300km to go.
I cycled off the ferry onto Queen Charlotte Drive, and headed towards Nelson.
The road weaved along Marlborough Sounds. Climbing a few hills along the way warmed me up a little bit, but only when the sun finally showed up around 11am did I truly get warm.
I passed through the “world’s capital of green shell mussels” – Havelock. It was too early to try them out.
Today I stuck with the highway, bypassing a muddy off-road track that cut through the woods. My route was longer but probably less painful. I arrived in Nelson in pretty good shape and still quite early. I checked in a cool backpackers hotel and enjoyed the rest of the sunny day.
Today in numbers:
110 km – distance cycled
22 km – width of the Cook Strait at its narrowest point
160 – shipwrecks in the Cook Strait
1779 – year captain James Cook was killed by aborigines