We make an early start from the Ferry Link Motel, Picton and ride through the Koromiko Valley to Blenheim.
It is sunny and cold this morning. 7 degC
We stop for Breakfast, a wonderful breakfast, at Raupo cafe on the banks of the Taylor River. It is on the site of the aviary whose inhabitants amused me and my brother and sister when were children. There used to be monkeys, birds and a sulphur crested cockatoo with a extensive vocabulary of swear words.
Nowadays the entertainment is people watching - school girls cycling along the path along tow path, along with runners, dog walkers, and a bronze sculpture of two beavers.
Once we leave Blenheim and head up the Wairau Valley (we are actually heading south) we ride through many miles of vineyards.
Further on we encounter many loaded logging trucks hurtling down the Wairau Valley.
We stop for a break at Lake Rotoiti. Our annual photo stop.
The clock tower in Seymour Gardens, Blenheim.
Nelson Lakes National Park which incorporates the northernmost mountains of the Southern Alps.
If you are walking the Te Araroa Trail you will walk through this region.
We have hiked up the shores of the lake and over the Travers Saddle and back to Lake Rotoroa.
The water taxi is waiting for passengers but we have other plans for today.
Tame eels at the Rotoiti jetty.
Buller river is born out of Lake Rotoiti. We will follow through the gorge to Westport.
But first we stop at Beechwoods Cafe Murchison for coffee.
I was surprised at the reaction of a couple of fellow bikers here. They ignored Dick as he went into the cafe. In my usual friendly style I greeted them. The suspicious and doubtful response was
"Where are you from?" They had seen some of our american stickers and had been offended by our South Dakota sticker "God, Guns and Guts made America great". Things thawed and we had a friendly chat with them. I think that once they had established a link with Ken we were OK. There aren't many degrees of separation between kiwis. There are fewer among the population of bikers.
We also had coffee with a Nelson chap who had ridden 200,000km in New Zealand on his 2004 BMW.
The first time I ever rode on motorcycle - January 2010 - the flood waters had just receded and the road was open.
White Bait fisherfolk on the Hokitika river. The season is nearly over.
We are very fortunate that we escape the rain.
The temperature falls as we approach Fox glacier.
This has been a wonderful day for a ride through some of the South island's most spectacular scenery.