Cunninghams On Parade - 2017 New Zealand: Return to the Shire travel blog

We rode part of the Tasman Great Taste Trail around Motueka.  This...

The trail went through diverse farmland where the fields were neatly laid...

For the first time this trip, we saw kiwi fruit growing in...

Cherry harvesting was over a couple of months ago but we had...

We had a beach front camp site for $12, albeit with minimal...

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Ruby Bay, New Zealand


“I’m going to walk the earth and have adventures.” - Jules

“What you mean ‘walk the earth’? - Vincent

“I mean I’m going to walk the earth, meet people and have adventures. Like Cain in Kung Fu.” - Jules

From the movie Pulp Fiction

Okay, young people may not get the Kung Fu reference but that is one of my favorite quotes from Pulp Fiction. We may not ‘walk the earth’ but we certainly are RIDING the earth, meeting people and having adventures. I’ll take it, Grasshopper!

Woke up with the alarm at 7 as usual. It was quiet all night in our campground despite the number of folks there. And they were not early getter uppers so I lounged around until 7:30 and then got going. We got dressed and packed things up; had tea and coffee but not breakfast. No real reason other than we weren’t hungry that much and we pretty much just forgot about it. Pulled out of the campground at 9:15 and headed towards Murchison. We pass through the beautiful Buller Gorge on most every trip here and end up at Murchison. It’s a cute little town and we always hit up the local antique/second hand shop where we enjoy the thrill of the hunt and looking at stuff. I don’t think we’ve ever bought anything there! We also went in the local hardware store to knock around and then in the 4 Square to get a pie since it was getting to be 10:30 and hunger was setting in for both of us. Art got a chicken and veggie pie that was okay and he was stoked it was only $1.49. I didn’t see one I wanted so went down the street to the On The Spot convenience store and cafe and got a bacon and egg pie for $3.80. It was very good! Shared those in the camper and then did a little internet research while Art called Helen. They had a good long talk and caught up on things; she’s doing well and the house is still standing so that’s good….

Finally pulled out of Murchison about noon and drove to Motueka. We took a little bit different route this time, driving on the Motueka Valley Road. It was a very picturesque ride. Oh, the weather today: it was partly sunny to partly cloudy and was so much better than yesterday’s rain! It was a pleasant surprise to get such a nice day today. Temp was nice and warm, probably around mid 70s - very nice! We pulled into Motueka about 2 and went to the local iSite for information on the local bike trail called the Great Taste Trail (presumably because it passes through numerous winery areas, etc.). Didn’t get a whole lot of help from them but a map and then we went back to the camper to eat lunch and study the map. Had ham and cheese sandwiches and chips and then suited up for the bike ride.

Started riding about 3:30 and found the trail about 3 blocks from where we are parked near the iSite. It was a nice ride; at first we went along the beach and it was cool. LOTS of driftwood everywhere! Not that great a sandy beach though but the views were very cool; we could see across the bay to Nelson. Kept riding and it turned away from the beach and we went through areas of apple orchards and vineyards, great views everywhere even back to the mountains. You know one of the things I like best about NZ? They love hedges! And they do hedges in the British way, only bigger and better. We've seen monster lengths of hedges and windstops made from trees that are just remarklable. Gotta admire the dedication to groom a hedge that's hundreds of feet long and tall as a 3 story house-that takes time!! The sun was welcome and it just made for a great ride. UNTIL…...we hit 2 big hills on the way to Kaiteriteri beach, which was our end point. And after I made it up the hills (yes!), we came to the part of the trail that was actually a mountain bike park. Well, there was NO WAY I was going to make it through a mountain bike track park, even on the Easy Rider circuit, right? So I told Art he could go on and I would wait, it was only 3kms to Kaiteriteri but he didn’t feel like he had to so we turned around and headed back about 5.

Back over the hills and it wasn’t so bad. Then onward back to Riwaka, a wide spot in the road we’d come through eariler. This time we stopped there and got a real fruit ice cream cone to share at a stand for $4.50 and it was delicious! Got cherry this time with local cherries and that cone was as good as the ones at Cromwell! Why is it the one time I had my own cone (Hokitika) it was only meh and the two times it was great I had to share??!? LOL. This was right about 5:35 and they closed at 6 so we made it just in time; glad we didn’t dawdle at the mountain bike park! Across the street from the ice cream was the Hop Federation brewery and we crossed the street to check them out too. They too closed at 6 but it was 5:50 so we had just enough time to get a few samples to try out. The fellow there was really nice and let us sample 3 for free: Rakau IPA, NZ IPA and some Imperial IPA. They do several IPAs so Art was pumped; he even bought a big bottle of the Rakau for $4NZ to take with us.

Left the brewery at 6 and got back on the cycle way. Rode slightly differently back for something different and wound up in downtown Motueka and found the van easily near the iSite. It was 6:30 when we got back and we rode 27kms total - not too shabby and it was a really nice outing! Art put the bikes up as I looked online for nearby campsites and we headed to a cheap one near the beach here but it was already crammed full of people in those small, VW sized van campers so no room at the inn there for us. We drove about 15 minutes further towards Nelson and found another campsite along the beach, although the spots right on the water were full. We pulled into the spots across the driveway from the beach and had a nice big area to pull into, not too full at all. The campsite is called McKee Memorial Reserve in Ruby Bay and it costs $6NZ per person per night. No power and cold showers (uh, no…..) but it’s cheap enough and we spend 3 nights starting tomorrow with all the amenities in Nelson so it’ll do. Pulled in here thankful for a spot as it was getting dark and got settled by 7:30. I started on dinner immediately and it was a swing and a miss: tried the Watties Curry Mince Sauce with some browned hamburger in it and rice and what I was sold as naan but it turned out to be flour tortillas -seriously! I don’t know who was smoking crack at the grocery store that day but they need to learn the big difference between naan and tortillas - grrrrrr. Anyway, it was the blandest thing I’ve ever eaten that had “curry” in the name of it. It was edible but that was the best thing I can say for it….sad day. We drank Art’s Hop Federation beer with it and I had a West Coast Brewing Pilsner. After supper we tried West Coast’s pear and berry cider Jason gave us and it was great. We needed a little alcohol to choke that supper down….

Washed some dishes and we looked at stuff online about Marchfest for Saturday. Then tried to get a plan together for tomorrow before heading to bed about 11:15.

Entry Rating:     Why ratings?
Please Rate:  
Thank you for voting!
Share |