Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Going hilly

Today we went over to a friend's house in Picton and started our ride from there.
It was a beautiful day when we started from Blenheim but in Picton it was cold and windy..had we worn enough layers? A tailwind up the first hill helped, round the first corner and we were in sunshine again! The summit of the first hill is called The Wedge..and you climb from sea level by the Bluebridge ferry terminal to 150 metres...then around several bays, up and down, to coffee at Momorangi. A welcome stop but straight back uphill on return!!
I managed it, carrying on steadily as others stopped to photograph the view.. and didn't walk up any hills, thankfully.
A chilly headwind back down into Picton was welcome as a brake on the downhill speed before another coffee stop (no cake this time) and drive back to Blenheim.
Now we are doing the washing and packing the car ready for a bright and early start tomorrow.

Monday, 14 January 2019


We have had uninterrupted rides for over a week now...and the fire warnings have risen to High...last night it rained steadily and as we got ready this morning....it started again!! It is much needed so no complaints!!

This morning's ride was a little shortened....no bike, just the coffee and muffins at the Vines Village on Rauparra Road!!..and a visit to the Quilting Barn of course. I limited myself to 50NZD.....four fat quarters and a couple of tools that I haven't seen locally in Scotland..and a thimble that actually fits my fingers!!

We dropped the pirate off at Braysher Park on the way back and he had a whale of a time looking at mowing machinery amongst other things at the Agricultural Museum there.."the best ten dollars he has spent in a long time"!!
Of course the sun came out from the clouds and made up for the chilly morning with a vengeance..and when it cooled a little three of us (all girls) went for a ride up the Taylor River floodplain track.
Being a limestone area as you go up the river it disappears and appears again. By the Wither Hills we went back on the road and carried on up the valley past the Taylor River Dam, and the honey factory...to where, by the sign "share the road"... the seal finishes and it turns to a gravel road.
If you are on a mountain bike you can carry on over the pass to Seddon. As we were on road bikes we turned and had a fast tail wind ride back!!

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Time flies

We went up Barracks road in Renwick by car, a section of road that I've never tackled on a group run here, turning as most do at the phone box at the top of Brookby road.
The next 4.5 km are stunning..but no, I wouldn't have enjoyed riding up it!
We turned at the farm called The Barracks..but I haven't been able to find what sort, whether military or work barracks.

Today we have booked our ferry to Wellington and a DoC(department of conservation)campsite for two nights before that for a change. It is at a place called Pelorus Bridge, on the way to Nelson..an area of artists and craftworkers as well as a nice small town.
We are looking forward to seeing somewhere many have told us to see..if only we had more time to do all this!!

Thursday, 10 January 2019


A response from Cat has prompted this..we are avoiding Winter and touristy stuff.
We are just living here for a while, doing ordinary things and meeting ordinary people as much as we can. Learning more about Aotearoa/New Zealand than many tourists bother to do.
Learning about history and about present matters too.

Another day...

Another bike ride!
Yesterday was a group ride, today a slightly easier one with the friends we are staying with.
Up the cycle/footpath in the direction of Picton as far as possible then a detour via smaller roads to Tuamarina.Almost straight across the state highway then up the road as far as the river bridge and the end of the tar seal (road surface).
No fantails by the bridge this time, and for a change instead of just turning back from the gravel we headed up what looked like a small valley side road..
Waikakaho road has only 3km of decent sealed surface before going to gravel but leads through a beautiful valley full of native birdsong and trees..sounding and smelling heavenly!
A return then to Tuamarina and down the highway to cross the Wairau quickly to Spring Creek. There is a beautiful old sea going waka by the bike path there...minus it's outrigger..that must have been impressive when being paddled at speed.
From Spring Creek back on the path to Blenheim with a stop to pick up a bag of free plums.. good thing I always carry a small light rucksack!! Then coffee and cake of course before returning home for lunch.

The Kowhai tree has almost all been split and stacked for firewood.. pirate is about to eye up what is left, but even with a mall an axe and wedges...it's a job for a large chainsaw there are so many knots and branches!!
This is half the wood that I have stacked..it looks far more cut and stacked than it did standing or when logged!

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Mild frustration

At those wordpress blogs that insist that I sign in or open a wordpress account to comment.
Actually I do have one for my website ( thanks bro!!) But the password for that doesn't seem to be the one required.....
So if I don't comment but I do follow..you know why!!


At least the tree has contributed well to the firewood stack.
After our ride with the friends we are staying with and another couple from Picton, pirate got to work with the axe, splitting the logs ready for stacking.
I don't know how he had the energy!! We did 56km, from Blenheim to Renwick then over the road to North bank road..North of the Wairau river..and up to the Onamolutu campsite before returning to the Roadhouse cafe in Renwick for Dutch sticky buns and coffee! Energy for the headwind slog back to Blenheim.
After lunch I had a long nap!!