Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Day 18. - Blenheim -> St Arnaud -> Nelson -> Havelock -> Onamalutu campground.

300 km - 3 hrs : 56 mins.

More rain and wind overnight. A trip to the toilet at 2am reveals a fullish moon and a clearing sky.
A perfect days riding for our last day on the South Island.
Morning fresh and blustery, but no rain. We take off up the Wairan valley toward St Arnaud, past acre after acre of vineyards. Easy riding on another excellent road that parallels the river and climbs gently. As we approach the pass before descending into St Arnaud, there is a distinct chill in the air.

Refuel at St Arnaud - over $2.40 a litre, the most expensive fuel to date in NZ!

Morning coffee on the shores of Lake Rotoiti - just outside St Arnaud. Lots of ducks, and a group of massive eels loitering under the jetty!

Yet more incredible riding down from the heights of St Arnaud along the Motupiko River back to the NW coast and the city of Nelson.

Air much warmer down here and we enjoy balmy conditions and lunch on the seashore outside Nelson.

More good riding between Nelson and Havelock where we leave the Picton road and turn south back towards Blenheim. Our campsite is in a forest Reserve with some remnant native trees. Onamaluta SR is quiet and off the beaten track. A grassy clearing with basic facilities. A good spot to spend our last night on the South Island!
Tomorrow the ferry to Wellington and part II of the BUM's 2014 Reunion Tour of NZ.

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