56km 662m elevation
In hind sight I could have done the last couple of days slightly differently. Having arrived in Wellington by 2:30 I possibly could have caught the 4pm ferry. But I was booked in a cabin and although the ferry website said we’ll board from 11:30pm, the guidebook said you can get on from 10pm. I obviously booked this before learning lesson 3 from Day 10 about not trusting the guidebook.
The blah feeling from Wellington persisted despite some solid (but short) sleep on the ferry, and some stunning scenery in the sunrise from Picton. I convinced myself since I was having a short day I should take the optional off road bit from Picton to Ngakuta. As I cycled along the single track I felt very intrepid, and gave myself permission to walk whenever I felt a bit challenged. I thought how much my friend Kathryn would enjoy this. You should do it Kathryn!
Havelock was a lovely place to stop for lunch and I caught up again with the trail angels from Warkworth. They were pushing all the way through to Nelson that day, but I knew if I tried to tackle the Maungatapu saddle in my current state of mind, things would probably go badly. Plus the weather forecast was looking a bit iffy.
Pelorus Bridge was a very peaceful and scenic place to park myself for the night. The staff in the cafe and camping office were very friendly and kind. The food in the cafe was cycling Glutard heaven, they even had a GF pasta salad.
Since I knew it would rain over night I chose a tent site with lots of tree cover. A cheeky Weka came pecking around on the hunt for food, but Renée doesn’t share food. Another cyclist rolled in later and Daniel from Dunedin was a wealth of bike packing knowledge.
I heard from the folks that Scott and Nerena hadn’t stopped in Wellington and were hot on my tail. Fingers crossed my short days pay off in a team reunion !