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Thread: Mangarakau

  1. #17
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    26th February 2017

    I sleep like the dead - this place has fantastic beds and NO noise. If it wasn't for the fridge turning on and off I'd think I'd gone deaf...

    I'm booked into a Quest studio apartment in Nelson tonight - I may stay two nights, as I have a Hotels.com free night available (you get and almost free night every ten bookings or so). I stayed in a Quest apartment in Wellington the night before I caught the ferry to South Island and was most impressed by it. It'll be nice to get back to reliable and available internet and phone signals too (I hate to admit this!)...

    I have a long, hot shower (the facilities in the cabin are excellent), then get dressed and pack the bike. I may well return here later in the trip - it's an interesting place to visit and there are a couple of things I'd like to see, which I've not been able to during this visit.

    I bump into Mark and Cab as they pack to leave - they are going to go for an explore then have some breakfast at the café, where we'll meet up, all being well.

    I say my goodbyes to Sally and thank her, then set off at about 1010 towards the end of the road which I mistakenly took on arrival. I want to see if it's still as pretty when I'm not feeling knackered and dehydrated...



    Well, it's cooler, and with more cloud cover, but still beautiful...



    I take a gentle amble along the gravel...



    ...taking in the sights - and killing a little time before breakfast...



    A hundred generations of sheep have left their track marks like contour lines on the hillsides...



    Right - time for brunch...

    I arrive at the Nugget café at about 1100 to find Mandy cooking away. She quickly rustles me up a flat white and some nachos - served in a bowl, which adds a frisson of excitement as you get to the last of them...



    She leaves me with some Mexican Mild sauce, and some Tabasco. I like the text on the sauce...



    There is a young Swiss couple having coffee, waiting to meet one set of parents. They are on a six week trip here - they comment that I must have a better boss than them. I suppose I do...

    I notice that the weather is starting to close in to the south and I have no wish to negotiate the 20+km of recently gravelled road in the rain, so I settle my (very reasonable) bill - paying in advance for a couple of coffees for Mark and Cab should they arrive later.

    "How will I know who they are?"

    "Mark has a '100% New Zealander' tattoo on his shoulder"

    "That'll do".

    I thank Mandy - meeting characters like her are always the best parts of travelling...

    As I get kitted up by the bike, my glasses are getting misted by a very light rain. I don't even think about kitting up for wet weather as it's too humid. If I get wet, so be it...



    Doesn't look promising, though...



    Actually, the dampness of the light rain has changed the colour of the various types of gravel on the road and this makes it easier to identify the deep drifts that I want to avoid, so it's working to my advantage...



    The tide is in and the ride is completely different from when I arrived on Friday...



    I find I can comfortably keep 30-40 mph up on the road this morning...



    ...which is a good deal quicker than I was riding on Friday...



    The misty rain dries up - this will prove to be the last rain I see today...



    Eventually I'm back on tarmac - huzzah!



    I ride through Takaka, an odd little town - seemed to have a very high number of backpackers, neckbeards etc. Not the place to open a shoe shop (unless you only stock flip-flops)...



    The clouds over the Takaka Hill road are looking a bit threatening, but it's a good road (if a little twisty), so I'm not concerned...



    Time for a moody barn shot...



    I pass the fence of shoes and keep at 105kph or so towards the hills...



    Pretty much as I arrive at the foot of the climb, the cloud begins to clear...



    ...and I have a good, cloud and rain free ride to the top...



    ...and down the other side, where I can see Nelson in the distance, bathed in sunshine...



    After a fairly spirited ride down, Bettie gives me a left turn...



    ...towards Mahrahau. I follow this couple on a F650GS over the hill and into the little seaside town...



    The town (which comprises 80% town and 20% speed bumps) is set on a huge sandy bay and there are loads of tractors out on the sand in the bay moving boats and kayaks about.

    I've come here for a particular reason, and it seems my pair of travelling companions have the same destination. We both park in the car park and I find it's Revti, who I met on the ferry! His lovely wife Sue is on the pillion...



    We have all come to visit The Fat Tui - which was a recommendation from Mark and Cab. They reckon that these burgers are better than Ferg Burgers - a high bar indeed...



    Revti insists he treat me to a burger, so I try the Bullseye...



    ...cooked to perfection by the lively, but a little camera-shy team in the caravan...



    When it arrives it is vast - you need a roll of kitchen towel to clean up whilst eating it...

    It was delicious. Was it better than a Ferg Burger?

    Might have to try another one of each to be certain...

    We have a great chat over lunch and eventually get kitted up to move on - many thanks Revti & Sue



    At the last minute I spot this old Indian parked...



    Unfortunately I had close following traffic, so it wasn't possible to stop. A mile or so outside town, a Vincent came the other way - I expect they're meeting up...

    I reciprocate my route and soon find myself at the base of the Takaka Hill road, where I left it. It's about an hour or so to Nelson from here, so I'm in no particular hurry...



    I pass a clutch of BMWs refuelling on a ride out in the town of Riwaka...



    ...and then follow the coast...



    ...towards Nelson - the tide's a couple of hours out...



    This distinguished looking old gent was sunning himself in a winery car park...



    It was immaculate inside and out...



    Any guesses?

    I'm soon into Nelson and being steered into the town centre, where the system works perfectly and I pick up my key card to my studio apartment...



    ...which is very comfortably appointed...



    ...and has the added benefit of a bottle store (off licence) just across the road...

    I log on - and am connected to the world again...

    Good day...

    We will never be here again - have a good look around

  2. #18
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    Brill!

  3. #19
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    Cheers Mike, you're giving me plenty of ideas for places to visit when I hopefully go, same time next year.


    If quitters never win and winners never quit... What idiot came up with 'Quit while you're ahead'??????

  4. #20
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    Hi Mike. It was great to meet you at Wetland View. We love your posts and you take such great photos. THANKS heaps for the coffee - we thought it was weird when she asked what the tattoo said!! We're pleased you made it over to Marahau and the Fat Tui - It's a cool place. Enjoy the rest of your adventure - we will be following you with envy now we are back at work!!

  5. #21
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    Fantastic pics and write up Mike.

  6. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by cabandmark View Post
    Hi Mike. It was great to meet you at Wetland View. We love your posts and you take such great photos. THANKS heaps for the coffee - we thought it was weird when she asked what the tattoo said!! We're pleased you made it over to Marahau and the Fat Tui - It's a cool place. Enjoy the rest of your adventure - we will be following you with envy now we are back at work!!
    Hi Mark - hi Cab

    Glad the coffee found its way to you! Great to meet you both...
    We will never be here again - have a good look around

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