Queen Charlotte Drive

Day 15: May 3 – Nelson to Picton*

Daily Distance = 39.9km, Trip Total = 524.84km, Today’s Climb = 522m

*Drove Nelson to Havelock, cycled Havelock to Picton

The original plan was to cycle out of Nelson as far to Picton as I could before daylight was lost, but given the feedback that I would be sharing Hwy 6 with the logging transport trucks I decided to change the plan.  Instead I got a lift to Havelock where I was able to pick up a secondary road called Queen Charlotte Drive.

But first my parents went on a hike to a lookout point in Nelson while I vegged at our Airbnb for an extra hour before hopping on my bike to go meet them for the drive to Havelock.

This entire area of the bay is tidal water, probably one of the largest stretches of tidal water I have seen

This entire area of the bay in Nelson is subject to tidal water (this pic is at low tide), probably one of the largest stretches of tidal water I have seen

Pelorus Bridge - a scene from the Hobbit was filmed here, do you recognize it? Hint, it involves barrels floating down the river

Pelorus Bridge – a scene from the Hobbit was filmed here, do you recognize it? Hint, it involves barrels floating down the river

A view of Havelock from the peacefully quiet road of Queen Charlotte Drive

A view of Havelock from the peacefully quiet road of Queen Charlotte Drive

 

The ride along Queen Charlotte Drive was very peaceful and scenic with lots of turns in the road as well as views and lookouts over Marlborough Sounds.  Our tour guide from the Milford Sound excursion early on in the trip explained what a ‘sound’ is as it relates to a body of water, but I’m not sure that I can properly explain it.  So I’ll leave that to google should you wish to check it out!

Today was a short ride with grey skies and the promise of rain looming all day, so I only took light pauses to look at the views.  Otherwise, I was pedalling in the hopes to beat the rain.

Marlborough Sounds

Marlborough Sounds

Another view overlooking Marlborough Sounds

Another view overlooking Marlborough Sounds

One of the few straight stretches of road on today's ride

One of the few straight stretches of road on today’s ride

Views along Queen Charlotte Drive

Views along Queen Charlotte Drive

And a picture with my bike to prove it was there ;)

And a picture with my bike to prove it was there ;)

I ended up getting a light sprinkle for about 5min, but it resulted in this vibrant portion of a rainbow

I ended up getting a light sprinkle for about 5min, but it resulted in this vibrant portion of a rainbow

Ah-ha! That's where all those logging trucks on Hwy 6 are headed!

Ah-ha! That’s where all those logging trucks on Hwy 6 are headed!

Overlooking Picton from Queen Charlotte Drive

Overlooking Picton from Queen Charlotte Drive

We had a beautiful view from our room today

We had a beautiful view from our room today in Picton

 

I was able to arrive in Picton and get settled into the hotel about 1/2hr before the skies opened up and started raining – good timing!

After I got cleaned up, we headed out for dinner and landed at a fish and chip spot.  We’ve come to learn that fish and chip portion sizes are excessive (specifically the chips portion).  So between the 3 of us we ordered 4 pieces of fish and 1 order of chips, it was just the right amount!

When we got back to the hotel I started sorting my gear in my panniers as my parents and I would be parting ways for a few days.  This means I’ll have to start carting more of my own stuff around on the bike.  It’ll be interesting to see how much it changes my ride as I haven’t shlepped this much gear around on a bike for several years…

Organizing my gear amongst panniers

Organizing my gear between panniers

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