Goodbye South Island

I left Farewell Spit by hitchhiking through Collingwood and back down to Motueka where I left my bike several days before. Along the way, I camped at Canaan Downs, a valley in the hills just behind the Abel Tasman National Park. The place is used for festivals and rave-parties and wooden sculptures are present everywhere. It’s nice except it rains and the place is covered with fog. Back in Motueka, I bike to Nelson, the big city of the region. It’s raining again. For my last days on the South Island, the sun has decided to be a no-show. From Nelson, I take the bus that drops me off to Pelorus Bridge where there is a DOC campsite. A pretty river with a very dark color makes the fame of the spot but apart from that nothing special. I camp again under the fog.

The next day, the weather has a little bit cleared up as I pedaled through the misty mountains to reach Picton. I reach Havelock, a very nice town and then take the Queen Charlotte Drive which zigzags through the hills on the edge of the fjords. It’s very beautiful and it reminds me of Fiordland. In Picton, I am entitled to one day of fine weather, just enough to do a few walks on the surrounding hills to enjoy the view of Queen Charlotte Sound.

I leave the South Island on Wednesday April 29th, under a covered weather while taking the ferry. The beginning of the crossing allows me to appreciate the extent of the fjords that constitute the Marlborough region. After an hour and a half we reach the cliffs signaling the end of the island. I watch the land disappear in the fog with a little pinch in the heart. My time on the South Island is over. There have been ups and downs but all of this has gone too fast. Two hours later, Wellington appeared, also in the fog, and I have the strange impression that I never left the city. I stayed here for a week, 8 months ago and I feel like coming home. A trip ends. Another begins.

Canaan Downs - Golden Bay - New Zealand - © Claire Blumenfeld

Picton - Marlborough - New Zealand - © Claire Blumenfeld



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