Back to Nelson - The Great Tasman Taste Trail - CycleBlaze

October 16, 2020

Back to Nelson

The end of the ride

Th Swowball B and B where we were staying was described as a luxury band b and it certainly was.  Our hostess Carol was lovely, the house set in a park like garden and certainly the best breakfast we have had on the tour.  When we woke we could see frost on the lawn so we weren’t keen to get going too early but when we did it was an absolutely lovely day, sunshine and not a cloud in the sky.

Looking out our bedroom window
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Our ride took us through the delightful little Wakefield.  It is a village that is unspoilt by any ugly new buildings and it has a particular feeling of calm associated with this.  We searched out St Johns Anglian Church, it is the second oldest church in New Zealand and sits on a little hill keeping watch over the village.  Today’s ride was particularly easy with hardly a rise in it and tracks that were smoother than earlier days.

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St Johns looking over Wakefield
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Bowling along through an immaculate orchards, market gardens and farms we arrived at Brightwater. Brightwater is important because it is here that Ernest Rutherford was born. On the site of his old house a wonderful memorial has been built.  This is not only very informative but also beautiful   Rutherford is the Nelson areas most famous son and it seems amazing  that a boy born here in the later part of the 19th century would grow up to be such a renowned scientist.  It appears that his potential was recognised by his teacher at the tiny Pelorus school and it wasn’t until he was 15 he went to secondary school at Nelson College and his extraordinary story began.  The other good thing about Brightwater was the great cafe we came upon. It was full of cyclists and the coffee excellent.  All day we were seeing lots of cyclists.  Nelson has lots of retirees and it seems that they all get out on their bikes to use the excellent cycleways which this close to Nelson are paved,

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The Memorial
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Hop gardens and vineyards were once again in evidence and we were were led along to a swing bridge over the Waititi River where there were people fishing and  dog having lots of fun chasing sticks.  The bridge was pretty wobbly and certainly not for riding but shows how much effort has been made making this trail.  It was in the GFC that the then Prime Minister, John Key, decided that building cycle trails would be a good way to provide employment and to some extent stimulate the economy. This was naturally not applauded by everyone in particular those who love to rush around burning large amounts of fossil fuel.

Over the swing bridge
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An early 50s Fordson
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A Massey Ferguson 55
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Back by the sea
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It was not long before we were back to the sea and joined the track we had riden out on and once more we were able to enjoy the delights of the Railway Reserve. 

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The cream building in the distance is Nelson Hospital where Ken worked in 1963 just after he had qualified - we lived I a little house opposite
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It felt a little said dropping our bikes off. It has only been a very short trip but we certainly have enjoyed it. There are some challenges in it in the middle days but we would certainly recommend it.  What i was pleased about was that I was able to do it without any Orthopaedic Dramas

Looks fun but why are those kids not at school
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Tomorrow we head for the ferry (about a 2 hour drive) and will continue a little  way up the island to make Sundays trip easier.  It is Election Day in New Zealand tomorrow and there seems to be little doubt that Jacinda will be returned, what is the question is whether her party, the Labour Party, will get enough votes to govern alone or whether they will have to go into coalition with a minor party

Today's ride: 34 km (21 miles)
Total: 169 km (105 miles)

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Steve Miller/GrampiesThanks for the tour Trisha. Cycle touring is beginning to feel a bit like a distant memory for us, and I pass our bookshelves full of Bikeline books each day with a bit of a glazed look. But you are helping keep the dreams alive, and with luck cycle touring will re-open in the not too too distant future.
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1 week ago
Graham SmithTricia thanks for the journal. I really enjoyed reading it as Nelson-Richmond has been like a second home to me over the past 37 years. My parents-in-law lived in Richmond, so I have been able to cycle tour much of the Nelson-Marlborough region.

I last visited the in-laws in February and took one of my folding bikes over to NZ from Australia . From Richmond, I cycled much of your journaled ride in a series of day trips from my in-laws' place. I especially loved the Spooner tunnel which I rode through on day ride from Richmond and through to Mapua.

As covid started, I had to depart Richmond for a return to Australia in a hurry as the Australian and NZ borders began to close; so I decided to leave my bike in Richmond at the in-laws' house on the assumption I'd be able to get back reasonably soon, visit them again and do more riding. Little did I know how much would change in just a few months. Sadly both in-laws passed away a few months ago; and the bike is still in storage at their place.

Fingers crossed we can back to NZ in 2021, and see some more of the beautiful places in your journal.
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1 week ago