Less haste, more taste: Kaiteriteri - Riwaka - Motueka, followed by Mapua to Richmond - To and fro along the The Great Taste Trail - CycleBlaze

November 24, 2021

Less haste, more taste: Kaiteriteri - Riwaka - Motueka, followed by Mapua to Richmond

Today's drama is canine-free. Scout plays it safe by spending most of the day helping Bruce drive the camper, with a stint in the trailer this afternoon.

(An admission here. Our camper/RV, more usually referred to as a motorhome in our country, has a name. I've been reluctant to confuse matters by adding another one to the mix . . "Wait, is she married to Bruce or to Bill? Is Scout a boydog or girldog? So confusing . . ." But I feel I have kept this secret too long. I'm outing Bill. He will no longer be dismissed as just the camper, having been an integral part of this cycle tour.)

The drama begins as Bruce and Scout drive off from Kaiteriteri in Bill (ok so far?), leaving me to cycle from the campsite to Motueka. This is a 17km section of the trail I have yet to complete; Bruce rode it yesterday, after the Great Separation Anxiety Event.

I'm riding Bruce's Specialized mountainbike, unencumbered by spouses, dogs and trailers. It's lightweight and makes easy work of the bike park segment, following the Easy Rider green trail. Or not . . . I have to confess I miss a turnoff and carry blithely along another green trail, Cruise Control. Obviously, the turn-off was not clearly marked, I convince myself. I use Dial a Hubby for a second opinion then turn around and retrace my path, which is very much NOT the thing to do on a one-way trail. The turn-off has mysteriously gained more signage and is now easy to spot. Ah well.

Early morning, tide's out in Tasman Bay
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Once I leave the park behind, the trail  runs between the road and the sea then heads inland, through a working orchard onto the back streets of Riwaka.

Riwaka, a Maori place name which means the hull of the waka/canoe, is an agricultural epicentre, growing hops, pipfruit and stonefruit in its fertile soil. The settlement may have a population of only 800 but it supports an enthusiastic croquet club, with members on the green whenever we have passed through Riwaka in recent days. 

From here, the trail crosses the Motueka River and apparently turns left onto a picturesque coastal path which runs parallel to Motueka's lengthy main street to join the wharf at the town's southern end. I say apparently because I somehow find myself riding along the aforesaid main street. Another poorly marked turnoff then. Has to be. Recalibrating, I locate another beach access point and pretend that I've been on this path all along.

The wreck of the Janey Seddon, built in 1901 as a submarine mining vessel and deliberately sunk in this spot in the 1950s. Apparently it is now one of Motueka's major tourist drawcards. I would recommend the croquet club, myself.
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Scout and Bruce have been gambolling on the beach in the meantime. We regroup in Bill and drive the short distance to Toad Hall, an excellent café recommended by Tricia Graham last year.  Not only does it do coffee well but it also offers a farmers' market-type array of fresh local fruit, veges and cheeses. Today's motto, as alluded to in the title, is 'less haste, more taste'. I feel as though we are off to a good start.

The glorious Toad Hall. We leave with cheeses and strawberries for dinner.
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We swap seats for the next segment. Bruce needs to ride the 10km from Tasman to Mapua so we deliver him to his starting point and the dog and I shuttle Bill to the endpoint. Alberta's at Mapua is, as it was yesterday, our lunch venue. With an abundance of spring sunshine, people are out and about,  wandering around the boutiquey shops and keeping the cafés busy.

I have a ferry to catch though. Still with Bruce's bike, I take the five minute trip across the estuary to Rabbit Island.  There's too much wining and dining going on in Mapua obviously because I am the only passenger on this trip.

Here's Mapua Wharf from the ferry, full of potential ferry passengers who were too busy eating and drinking...
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Rabbit Island is a forestry block surrounded by the sea. It's a popular beach spot for Nelsonians but has a strict 'no dogs' policy so I'm riding this part of the trail alone.  It's fast and fun and Bill and the crew are there to meet me with a cup of tea at the other end. 

Today's last segment takes me and Scout to Richmond on the outskirts of Nelson City. (I have swapped bikes and once again have the puppy on board.) We ride stopbanks and rural roads until the trail nears the estuary where we often meet boardwalks crossing sensitive marshlands. We also meet Bruce who has shuttled Bill to Richmond then biked back to find us.

Boardwalks
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It has been an excellent day, low on kilometres but high mileages are not the point of this ride. The Great Taste trail is all about enjoying the views, the food and the trail itself. Good vibes.

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Dawn HunterI think I recognise this cafe. Motueka?
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1 week ago
Robyn RichardsToad Hall, above, is in Motueka, yes. Huge grounds, lovely outfoors and v dog-friendly. This fence signage caught my eye on outskirts of Mapua.
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1 week ago
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Today's ride: 39 km (24 miles)
Total: 131 km (81 miles)

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Comment on this entry Comment 4
Tricia GrahamIsn’t Toad Hall wonderful. Scout is a very lucky dog I think!
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1 week ago
Robyn RichardsIt's a great café, and very dog-friendly, which suited us...And yes, Scout lives a good life, lucky indeed!
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1 week ago
Rachael AndersonSo you have a dial your hubby, too! There a great thing to have.
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1 week ago
Robyn RichardsIt's a wonderful thing.
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1 week ago