Mapua - The Great Tasman Taste Trail - CycleBlaze

October 12, 2020

Mapua

Bikes on the little ferry
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We walked down to the harbour for dinner and this is the harbour at night
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The sun was shining when we woke this morning and the puddles had almost dried up

We had just had breakfast when the man with the van arrived to pick us and our bags up and whisk us to the depot to be fitted with our bikes - we even got ‘GREAT TASTE’ T shirts.  When Ken first qualified he worked at Nelson Hospital and we lived there for a year.  That was 58 years ago so we recognised nothing and certainly needed the very good maps we had been given to find the way.  It is a city of amazing bike tracks and there are 200 of them in this which is a small city.

The first about 12km were taking us through the city and a couple of suburbs.  When we were living in Nelson these were farm lands and we used to drive out to get apples (and rather discusting Apple Wine) from yer orchards which were once there.  The way was beautiful.  A lot of it was along what was once an old railway which has now been turned into a beautiful park planted along the way with lovely flowering trees.  There were lots of cyclists either enjoying this beautiful place or just getting from one place to another

At Wakeful we joined a track that skirted the extensive Waimea Estuary.  The track now was not sealed but the service not too bad.  Actually somewhat to my suprise there were other groups of tourists going in both directions.  What has been obvious on this whole trip is that Kiwis are out enjoying their own country. With our border restrictions the prime tourist locations dont have their usual crowds so people are taking advantage of it, in restaurants and accomodation the owners tell us that they have had a better winter than usual which is encouraging.

We crossed over little stream and saw people whitebaiting, though apparently they weren’t running.  A bridge took us over to Rabbit Island.  This island is a forestry and recreation area.  The island has no buildings on it and is actually closed at night.  The beaches are glorious and the riding on the island extremely peaceful.  We rode the length of it arriving at the very cute ferry, a bike only ferry that takes you of the island to the charming little village of Mapua

Mapua is tiny but full of upmarket cafes and little restaurants   We found where we thought we were staying - began to settle in but tit was the wrong place so back to the Wharf for lunch then we hunted down our band b Mapua on the Water and on the water it is - High tide at the moment and the water comes to the bottom of the garden.  I dont think it will be too good with sea level rises.  our hosts welcoming and friendly 

Driving along the other day Ken was in seventh heaven when we came across this Traction Engine lumbering along
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Up above Nelson
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Along the old railway
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More
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And more
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Lovely trees beside the track
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These are Kowhai s - a native NZ tree that has spectacular yellow flowers in spring
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Neat apple orchards
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Spraying is in progress
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No luck for the white baiters
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The beach on Rabbit Island
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Waiting for the ferry
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On board
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At the Mapua wharf
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Looking out our bedroom window
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Today's ride: 35 km (22 miles)
Total: 35 km (22 miles)

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