Saturday, 25 January 2014

Sunday 26th Jan - Havelock to Nelson

Well we are in Nelson, nice and early and just had a hot bath, a cup of tea, put the room heater on and got into bed to warm up. We have had a real soaking today but we dealt with it all well.
We got the tent up in the dry and cycled to Pelorus Bridge, ten miles into our route and stopped at the cafe there before the rain started. Unbeknown to us this was to be the only stop of the day! We had strong gusting winds and persistent rain and the wind was generally against us. Rai Saddle was at 247 metres, a a long climb with quite a steep finish and although and we had a cold descent. After that we were forced to just stop in the rain at the side of the road and eat before the next climb as we could not even find a bus shelter to get out of the rain.
We knew we had about twenty miles to do and another big climb. Although Whangamoa Saddle should have been the hardest at 357 metres the wind had moved a little so it was now pushing us along. Before we knew it we were on a long long steady decent to the coast with the wind rocking us and the rain still strong in our faces.
We cycled to the bottom and then had a flat ride along the coast. Catherine announced that it had stopped raining and the storm had passed. Optimistic as always. As soon as she said it howevera massive cross wind hit us almost resulting in both of us nearly blown sideways off our bikes. The rain smashed down like I had never known it, but the good news was the wind hit us from behind and we soared along the flat at between 14 and 18 miles an hour. The rain was still like a firemans hose and even on the outskirts of Nelson there was no-shelter .
Made it to the CBD and by now it was getting dangerous to cycle in a full out tropical storm like conditions. We went into the first motel we found and a few minutes later all our stuff is drying by the heater and we have had a warm bath. 
My hands and feet were wrinkled like I had been in the bath for hours and we were both soaked through despite our waterproofs.The bags held up well however and we were pleased to see all was dry inside the bags. A successful challenging test for our Ortlieb pannier bags. 
The wind is now still howling outside and rain still drumming on the ground. 
An exciting day however! The camera for most of the day was in a waterproof bag and not an easy day for photos.
See below for a photo at Pelorus Bridge cafe, it was Sunday morning and only just nine so we were pleased to see the open sign.

We were soaked to the skin when we got to our room so we threw everything inside and took our soaking wet things of at the door and threw them in. We have a heater though so our things are already drying well . The wind whistles around the hotel but sunshine forecast for tomorrow!


  1. Sounds like a very challenging day. Hopefully the weather will be on you side tomorrow you are doing well keep going.

  2. Thunder, lightning and hail in Coventry yesterday. Dull and wet this morning, don't suppose anyone is out for the Sunday ride.

  3. Does happen in NZ like UK but let's hour we don't have that sorry if day on 20th Feb onwards

    1. Sorry for garbled message new phone. Let's hope for sunshine and cool wind when we meet up

  4. It is why in NZ you have to prepare for all seasons. Great your gear was up to it������


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