|Well, just for a change, I'm absolutely knackered. In fact, we are absolutely knackered! We had a really great day today doing some 'traditional' mountain biking. We did 16.5 miles, 14.5 of them 'off-road'. The Queen Charlotte Track is 67km long and takes 3 -5 days to walk and 2 – 3 to bike. We didn't fancy doing it all, because it can be a bit 'samey', but the piece we picked today was fantastic. There were steep bits, uphills and downhills, wet bits, dry bits, clay, mud, gravel, sand, stones and rocks. A lot of the track there was nothing to see except 'the bush', which was fine because we spent most of the time looking down at the track. Then every now and again the bush would open up and the views of the Marlborough Sounds were amazing.
It was clear, sunny and hot too.
We took our bikes on a water taxi over to Torea Bay, on Grove Arm, about 30 minutes north west of picton across the Queen Charlotte Sound. Then we climbed a steep road for half a mile up to the track, which pretty much runs along the top of Grove Arm, then around Endeavour Inlet and up to Ship Cove. We joined the track just about Torea Bay and cycled north. The track is meant for both hikers and bikers, but most of the time it felt more of a mountain bike track than a hiking trail.
For the first 3 hours we didn't see a single sole. Then we passed a couple of loan hikers, then some bikers, all going the other way. In fact, by the end of the day, we had only passed people going the other way – probably 4 pairs of bikers and about a dozen hikers.
I fell off twice. Well slipped off I suppose, to be less dramatic. Put my foot down to stop the bike slipping out and found no ground beneath me. The first time I just fell on the path and picked myself back up again, but the second time I fell clean off the track and down the mountainside. It was very dramatic. I even caused a rock fall below. Fortunately no one was around to laugh at me. Unfortunately that included my husband who had raced on ahead (for a change) and wasn't around to help me and my bike back up again. Still, looks like I escaped with nothing worse than a grazed finger.
We had taken a packed lunch, so just stopped along the way when we needed to refuel.
We arrived at Punga Cove, our pick up point, by 15.00. About an hour before the water taxi and just time for a cold beer on the jetty in the sun (there was a lodge there).
We're back now, and showered, just waiting for the kitchen to quieten down so we can have dinner. Really tired (terrible nights sleep last night) so think we'll be having an early night tonight.
Managed to get a picture of the Dukie lookalike!