There is and has been a gigantic low pressure system parked over New Zealand for quite a while and it doesn’t look like it is going anywhere anytime soon. As many of you know, this usually equates to unstable weather that can include high winds, rain, snow, and crabby people stuck indoors. In other words, we are being soaked to a squishy. Even the local kiwis are all complaining about how bad the weather is.
It doesn’t keep them from being out in their shorts, though! The weather has been kind of a bummer in terms of getting out and exploring, but at least we have a comfy house to hang out in. Sadly the Tour is over, so I’ll have to find something else to eat up my time.
Our new friends Becky and Jon told us about the Motueka Over 50 tramping club, so Susanne reached out to them to see if we could join them for a tramp. They said yes, but we needed to hike with Group 2 to make sure we were fit enough. Evidently, they split the group into three. Group 1 is the more advanced, Group 2 is the reasonably fit, and Group 3 is the leisurely stroll. We said sure, we just wanted to get out.
We met them at the Motueka rec center at 8:45 and got a ride to the trail that we were hiking that day. The start of the hike required a minor stream crossing. Susanne and I had not brought our water sandals, so we chose to take our boots off and wade across in our bare feet. This caused a certain amount of consternation amongst the organizers, as they felt like this was dangerous. I tried to explain to them that I had spent my whole life doing this kind of thing and that I was just fine crossing the creek. They relented as they could tell we weren’t total newbies. I don’t blame them though, as I guess they get a lot of people that have never really be out tramping in the woods and come very ill-prepared. All was good once we crossed. Everyone was lovely and we did a nice (leisurely) hike up the road and got some nice views of the Nelson Bays. We will try and go out with them again if we can, but probably in group 1 next time.
We did finally get a bluebird day and we were both excited. I really wanted to get out for a long ride on my bike so I decided to ride from the house out to Kaiteriteri beach, which was going to be about a 70 km ride. It was quite chilly and frosty in the morning, so I waited until Susanne got back from Pilates before heading out. She warned me to make sure I watched the road because I would get distracted by the amazing views.
Susanne was right—it was incredibly beautiful out. It was really the first time we had that kind of full view of the area—surrounded by snow capped mountains in every direction and gorgeous views of the ocean. I was really feeling happy to be out on the bike and enjoying such a great day for riding. It was cool, but a really great riding temp.
The trail is a mix of dirt road, dirt path, quiet road, and then it finished up with a bit of single track that goes through the Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike park. It is mostly easy riding with a few hills to get your heart rate up—perfect for the gravel bike.
I had wanted to see what Kaiteriteri was like because there are some really nice houses for sale out there. It was amazing. The road in and out is a bit narrow and windy (surprise!), so I wanted to get a sense for whether that road would become the bane of your existence if you lived out here. My initial thoughts were no, it was doable.
I rode for about 3 1/2 hours and got home with a big gigantic smile on my face. I am like a little kid when I get to go for a bike ride on a nice day.
I got cleaned up and was wondering what was next on the dance card. The weather was so gorgeous we decided that we just wanted to go hang out somewhere and enjoy the sun and the views. We headed down to Mapua Wharf and found an outside table with a great view at the Apple Shed. We ordered a couple glasses of wine and some chips and just sat there enjoying the moment and the view. It had turned out to be such a great day on every level and we were happy.
We got up the next day and managed to get a walk in on the beach at Rabbit Island before the real storm set in. We really like this area because there is such a great diversity of things to do and they are all quite easy to get to. At least we got a few nice days in between the days with constant Milford Sound Sheets of Rain.