Arriving at Grahams house in the dark meant the view was a wonderful surprise the next morning. We had stayed up late catching up on family events, plans, travels. While this happened, Osama (Bin Ladin) and Obama (Barrak), curled up on our laps and shed all of their fur. I got up to go to bed and found my black tshirt was now hairy and white.
I got up late and set about solving my credit card issues and catching up on my blog posts. The view from up here is truely awesome. Graham recognises this himself, commenting on our motorbike ride how incredible it is to live here.
We bike the wrong way up to coast into Able Tasman to a town called Takaka. The road getting there is wonderfully windey over a high pass that looks back over Nelson. On a clear day you would be able to make out his house. Graham, new to biking, led the way on his Kawasaki Ninja 650L (actually a ER6F in Europe but with different fairing) we had a fun time blasting around the hills. I have a few nuggets of wisdom from 10 years of biking I felt qualified to pass on.
We had a really good burger at a local cafe/pub and then about-faced and did the road all over again. The same road but completely different for the opposite direction. Stopping briefly in Nelson to pick up my bags, we carried on towards Picton where I’m getting the ferry.
I stopped for a photo break and saw the time. I had 45 mins to cover 30kms. This sounds fine to you realise that it takes ALL DAY to go just 500 kms. The roads are great to ride for fun, but when you just need to get somewhere they become very challenging. This is the only time I came close to coming off the bike. Threading myself at high speed down a small road, with loose gravel scattered willy nilly the front slipped out a bit under braking. A firmly planted foot was the only thing to save me going shiny side down. I slowed down a bit after that but still pushed to get to my ferry on time. I manage to make the “last check in time” by 3 mins and take my place in the queue of cars. We then stood around for an hour… Dammit.
On the ferry I had booked the “Plus Lounge” so I could have dinner and a guarenteed seat. This time I wasn’t engaged in conversation with an old woman, so could stand up on deck and enjoy the sunset. This also helped with the motion sickness. Funny that I can jump out of a precariously suspended basket attached only by some strips of processed tree sap, but I cant manage to stand on a ship without going weak at the knees.