The next morning we went for an adventure with Robs 4 wheel drive up an old track to an abandoned old mining town called Masetown, there wasn’t a huge amount left by the time we got there though, I’d guesstimate we were about 100 or so years too late to see it thriving. How ever the 29 river crossings and cliff edge driving on a single lane gravely ‘road’ was thoroughly entertaining.
The next day we took it pretty easy for most of the day, I helped Rob for a few hours on his caravan project, got me hooked on the living tiny lifestyle. Then Sarah and I rode out to Paradise, no, like.. Paradise the place, and yes it was paradise! Far away from any large town it was located in the middle of no where, surrounded by mountains, green grass and rivers, pictures just don’t do it justice but I took a few so have a look, ah yes and my pathetic try at a river crossing on my motorbike. Hah
New years was a mellow affair, we saw the fireworks that were on display in the city center, then wandered home for an early night in, it was nice to not make too much of a big deal about it this year, I enjoyed the company I had and that was most important.
The girls wanted to ride up the west coast and I wanted to see family in Christchurch so we headed our seperate ways, another good day on the bike to Christchurch, the colour of the lakes Pukaki and Tekapo were unreal, as in looked fake they were so beautiful!
Christchurch is still very much a construction site, It must be hard for people there to put up with all the construction for so long, those bloody builders make a hell of a racket. In the mean time they have painted some pretty amazing artworks on the side of buildings, so I took some snaps of a few I liked. It was really good to see my family again down there, we had dinner at Sumner beach and helped feed the seagull population.
I was off up to Nelson the next day to meet the girls after a short visit, the weather was primo again with rain in the north island I counted myself lucky to be basking in the sunshine the whole day. I pulled into the petrol station in Murchison and who should be filling up their bikes too but Sarah and Bry, we couldn’t have planned it better if we tried. So we did the rest of the ride together. We stayed with a friend of Sarah’s and his family. They were extremely hospitable and taught us how to make tortellini from scratch! There is something very organic about making pasta from raw materials, we all felt very much a part of the meal. Glen and Annette were fantastic teachers, and beautiful human beings. The night ended up being fully entertaining and a team effort! I was so inspired, might need to buy myself a pasta maker!
Off to Able Tasman early in the morning, the rains holding, while a storm raged in the north island we rode in slightly overcast weather, definitely nothing worth worrying about. We headed for Marahau where the start of the Able Tasman walk starts, it was quite busy for such a small village, with all the hikers coming and going. We did a quick walk down the start of the track before returning in time to dodge the rain.
The following we day we scooted over the Takaka hill once again (since we were in the area why now I say). That beatnik, artistic, eccentric town was as enjoyable as the first time I went, so much to see and all so different. Often when I peruse the markets through out any said country I find much of the same, Takaka how ever had plenty more to offer. We spent a few hours there before riding back over that bit of motorcycle ecstasy that is Takaka hill before tucking in for an early night.
It was a big day planned, Marahau to Auckland! 14 or so hours of travel time, including a 3.5 hour ferry ride with some very stormy seas which saw half the boat chundering up their freshly eaten, over priced on board lunch that they ate white the boat was still in the calm sheltered sounds. The sound alone of that many people doing the technicolor yawn would make anyone gag.
Needless to say I made it home in one piece and thoroughly enjoyed every second of it, every corner in the road brought another post card scene into view. Time to plan the next adventure!