Every good story starts with a departure picture…so here’s ours!
The flight from Sydney into Wellington was the best possible teaser for our trip. My window seat looked straight down over the Queen Charlotte Sound giving us the most spectacular overview of our upcoming adventure.
Two nights in a hostel in Wellington gave us a chance to pick up items from camping stores (like maps we had on hold and stove fuel which couldn’t come on planes). We went on a pub crawl, inspected our maps in detail (in that order) and tried our hand in Stand up Paddle boarding leaving me pretty sunburnt.
Taking advantage of the large kitchen we finished planning the ramble menu and did our food shop, breaking everything down between the two bike and kayak legs to be picked up in transition.
Days 1 & 2 Bike leg
Breakfast – Quick Oats
Lunch – Salami wraps / tuna wraps
Dinner – Pesto Chicken Pasta/ Bacon tomato gnocchi
Days 3 & 4 & 5 Kayak Leg
Breakfast – Quick Oats
Lunch – Salam wraps / tuna wraps
Dinner – Peri Peri Tuna Cous Cous / Butter chicken w coconut rice / Celebratory Pub Meal
Today we caught the 3hr ferry from Wellington down to the South Island, Picton. The route took us down the Queen Charlotte Sound showing us exactly where we’ll be riding and kayaking. Wow. What an incredible way to prepare for the journey. The mountains are way bigger than I imagined, the Sound much wider and far windier blowing at 40knots. Nerves and excitement build as we realise exactly what we’ve gotten ourselves into.
There is no way we could have truely prepared for this ride. We don’t have Hills this big in Sydney….but I’m sure it won’t stop us from finishing. The kayak is what has us nervous seeing how windy and choppy the water was.
Once we arrived and checked in at the hostel we visited Wilderness Guides who we’re hiring gear from. They talked us through the track, the tough sections, the short cuts and best lookouts. They briefed us regarding bikes, repair kits, track etiquette and pack transferes and offered a water taxi back to town at the end of the trip saving the extra 20km ride home. We’ve kept this in mind but are intending to Ride the whole thing as planned.
The kayak leg at this stage is still questionable and completely weather dependant. If it’s as windy as it is today then they’ll send a taxi out to get us with the days kayaking cancelled. This has us relieved seeing what it was like just on a large Ferry. In saying that weather is scheduled to be fine for the first two days (Christmas) and only Boxing Day is at risk of being changed.
There is meant to be plenty of reception along the way and under Wilderness Guides advice I’ve purchased a SIM card so they can keep in contact with us regarding weather or any other issues. These guys are super chill and helpful.
8am tomorrow the Ramble starts on a water Taxi with our bikes to Punga Cove with a two day ride, followed by 3 days kayaking…camping over 4 nights. I couldn’t think of a better group of people to be doing this with….Happy Rambling!