Cycling The Globe

A Cycle Touring Expedition Around The World

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Day 868: Nelson – Wellington

Posted by Thomas Andersen Posted on Mar - 14 - 2013

Distance: 101.97 km
Ride time: 5:25:02
Average: 18.9 km/h
Total: 19708 km

As I had a ferry to catch at 2 pm and still 80 km to cycle I was packing my tent down as it was still dark and was ready to go with the first rays of light.

I’m aiming to make my trip as free and flexible as possible. This makes cycling much more enjoyable. Yet, there always seem to be some kind of deadline looming in the distance: A visa that is running out, a flight to catch, or a friend to meet. I was happy when I reached the ferry terminal in Picton with an hour to spare. One more deadline reached.

As I waited for the ferry I ran into Joe from the States who had also been cycling around the South Island. We first met while crossing the Haarst Pass a couple of weeks ago. He was now catching a bus to Auckland to fly back to Hong Kong where he works. Just before I boarded the ferry I saw a Germancycling couple I had at Mount Cook. It took a while before we realized we had actually run into each other on the road before. You meet so many cyclists in New Zealand that it is hard to keep track of everyone.

The first sign I saw on the ferry was written in Danish! At first I almost couldn’t believe it and thought I might be hallucinating. It turned out that the ferry was indeed Danish and had recently been sold to the BlueBridge line. Interestingly they hadn’t bothered changing all the signs to English. I even know the captain who used to work on this very ferry. What are the odds…

The crossing of the Queen Charlotte Sound and the Cook Strait was beautiful.


In Wellington I was going to meet Tony, a reader of the blog who had generously invited me to stay at his house. Tony was going to work during the night and had invited me to stop by his work place as well. It was an interesting visit. Tony works at a coastal station handling all the radio traffic to ships in and around New Zealand.

A few hours later I was cycling through the Wellington suburbs in darkness looking for Tonys house. He had left the key outside for me, and inside the kitchen table was literally filled with food. I ate as much as I could until my stomach was hurting.

Once again I was feeling very thankful and humbled by the amount of trust and openness I was receiving from a complete stranger. Thanks Tony! Simply amazing welcome to the North Island.

Categories: New Zealand
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