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Old 01-25-2010, 02:10 AM   #91
slartidbartfast OP
Love those blue pipes
 
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Location: Southern Louisiana or Southern England or ...
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No penguins, No blowhole :cry

Last night, at midnight, I walked down to the beach in hope of seeing some Small Blue penguins. I have now failed to see both Yellow-eyed and Small Blue species. Still it was an interesting walk with hardly any natural light. After a while of standing on the cliffs with my headlamp off, I could just about make out the white line of surf.

This morning, after spending a while trying to help an Israeli girl who had locked the keys in her hire car, I headed south a few km to see the famous Punakaiki pancake rocks and the blowhole. The tide was out so the blowhole didn't. On to Greymouth, the road being mostly long straight bits along the narrow agricultural plain between the mountains and Tasman Sea. Where cold water meets warm air, fog is inevitable and could be seen developing right at the water's edge all along the coast - Amazing!




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MSF Ridercoach IBA: 35353 95 R1100GSA, 93 GTS1000, 85 R80RT, 93 DR350/435, 99 RX125, 78 DT100
January 2010 New Zealand South Island ride
Summer 2009 UK to Alps ride
Summer 2008 UK End-to-End ride
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Old 01-25-2010, 02:16 AM   #92
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Bye-bye West Coast

At Greymouth, I visited the post office to return the room key to Arthur's Pass YHA (Oops!) then bade farewell to the West Coast for the last time and headed inland toward Reefton. This road and the section from Reefton to Inangahua passed through mostly flat farmland with many long straight sections. For some reason the road crosses and recrosses the same railway tracks over and over and over again. I must be getting spoiled because anywhere else this would be a really nice ride but I was waiting for the road to get back to the bendy bits and hills. Several of the large double tanker milk trucks passed in the opposite direction. They ALL drive like absolute bloody maniacs!






I hit the Upper Buller Gorge road at Ianangahua and stopped for a bite of lunch. A sparrow was picking up my crumbs and feeding them to it's fledglings - They looked almost fully grown and I wondered why they weren't picking up their own crumbs.




The Upper Buller Gorge is one of the few sections of road I have ridden twice (there are none that I have ridden in the same direction twice.) It has all the twistY bits and hills but the view of the gorge itself is mostly obscured by trees. When I stopped in Murchison for fuel I chatted with a driver who said the gorge used to be much more scenic when he rode it 30 or 40 years ago. From Murchison the scenery improved and the road stayed great - Another fine New Zealand riding route, although as if to prove a point, approaching Nelson, I stopped at a signposted "Scenic Overlook" only to find that you couldn't see any of the view because some numbskull had planted tall pine trees in front of the overlook (before someone else points it out, I'm sure they weren't tall when they were planted!)


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MSF Ridercoach IBA: 35353 95 R1100GSA, 93 GTS1000, 85 R80RT, 93 DR350/435, 99 RX125, 78 DT100
January 2010 New Zealand South Island ride
Summer 2009 UK to Alps ride
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Old 01-25-2010, 02:19 AM   #93
slartidbartfast OP
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Nelson, Takaka Hill and Golden Bay

The area around Nelson has numerous vineyards, orchards and fruit farms. It also has a large shallow estuary, half of which was dry as the tide was out. I saw quite a few waterbirds in the distance and will try to stop with my camera for a better look on the way back.




It was still fairly early so I decided to press on to Golden Bay. Several people mentioned that I should do Takaka Hill on the way to Golden Bay. In fact there's no choice. What a road!!! It's not very steep and there are very few switchbacks but mile after mile of tight turns, coming fast one upon another as you climb over 600m (2000') over the hill. It reminded me of the Hana Highway or the Tail of The Dragon (yawn!) only more intense than either and going up the side of a steep hill. The hearty little Weestrom was spinning the back tire powering out of some of the tighter bends

There were no easy oportunities for good photos on the way up although I got a few looking back from the top and some coming down on the Golden Bay side. Now at the Takaka YHA on Golden Bay and planning to go to Cape Farewell, the farthest Northeast point of the island, in the morning.






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MSF Ridercoach IBA: 35353 95 R1100GSA, 93 GTS1000, 85 R80RT, 93 DR350/435, 99 RX125, 78 DT100
January 2010 New Zealand South Island ride
Summer 2009 UK to Alps ride
Summer 2008 UK End-to-End ride
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Old 01-25-2010, 02:54 AM   #94
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Monday Jan 25

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MSF Ridercoach IBA: 35353 95 R1100GSA, 93 GTS1000, 85 R80RT, 93 DR350/435, 99 RX125, 78 DT100
January 2010 New Zealand South Island ride
Summer 2009 UK to Alps ride
Summer 2008 UK End-to-End ride

slartidbartfast screwed with this post 03-07-2010 at 06:33 AM
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Old 01-25-2010, 04:57 AM   #95
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"Hey Bro,any objections for us having a go on your bike?"



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Old 01-25-2010, 12:04 PM   #96
slartidbartfast OP
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Yeah, you're not wearing helmets
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January 2010 New Zealand South Island ride
Summer 2009 UK to Alps ride
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:27 PM   #97
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Eek Milk Tankers...

Yeah! Don't you just love those guys?

Recently I had cause to pass a couple on SH1, using the passing lanes. I was two-up at the time but had to crack "The Ton" just to get by and get out of the dirty air and crap kicked up by the trailers as they swung to and fro' into the gravel at the edge of the road

Take care,
Allan
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Old 01-25-2010, 09:10 PM   #98
slartidbartfast OP
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Nelson tonight

Had a fun day up at Farewell Spit and riding back over Takaka Hill. Now in Nelson. Will post RR later - lots of pics as usual
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MSF Ridercoach IBA: 35353 95 R1100GSA, 93 GTS1000, 85 R80RT, 93 DR350/435, 99 RX125, 78 DT100
January 2010 New Zealand South Island ride
Summer 2009 UK to Alps ride
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Old 01-26-2010, 04:02 AM   #99
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The wonders of nature

New Zealand is a nature-lovers paradise. Not only do you have large-scale natural beauty and wonder such as glaciers and fijords but also native wildlife. Today was a nature day! I rode out along Golden Bay to cape farewell, intially just for the ride, but when I got there found out it is a nature preserve.


While drinking tea at the visitor centre, walking up the beach and through the woods, took my time, had a good look around and played with the camera. Saw a lot of different bird species I have not noted before and some new plants and other animals.

This is the way to bird-watch! Shame the tide is so far out all the seabirds are miles away.




New Zealand Pigeons, caught in the act!


























You see a lot of warning signs about this invasive species - makes you appreciate the reasons for the biosecurity at the airport.
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MSF Ridercoach IBA: 35353 95 R1100GSA, 93 GTS1000, 85 R80RT, 93 DR350/435, 99 RX125, 78 DT100
January 2010 New Zealand South Island ride
Summer 2009 UK to Alps ride
Summer 2008 UK End-to-End ride
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Old 01-26-2010, 04:12 AM   #100
slartidbartfast OP
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Heading for Nelson, I had to cross Takaka Hill again of course - Whoopee! A fun ride for sure.




The weather turned perfect here today (after weeks of the cool, clammy weather I noted upon arrival) and I was treated with great views of Golden Bay from the top of Takaka Hill. The ride along the bay was also fun but I saw more traffic than I have seen for days. Approaching Nelson town centre was the first divided highway I have seen in New Zealand.




Had a great evening chatting biking and caving in a local pub with Warewolf. Gave me some good information for tomorrow's ride to Picton and some great ideas for my next visit - whenever that may be.
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MSF Ridercoach IBA: 35353 95 R1100GSA, 93 GTS1000, 85 R80RT, 93 DR350/435, 99 RX125, 78 DT100
January 2010 New Zealand South Island ride
Summer 2009 UK to Alps ride
Summer 2008 UK End-to-End ride

slartidbartfast screwed with this post 01-26-2010 at 06:18 PM
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Old 01-26-2010, 06:36 AM   #101
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Wink Nature lover needs a helping hand

Now Slartidbartfast is not a great watcher of feathered birds so come on you nature-loving bikers how about correcting my naming of his wild life pictures A little encouragement for a great report and pictures.

Two loving pigeons; White-winged chough; a mystery; Blackbird; Pied Oystercatcher; ? Fritillary butterfly; ? Lark/Pipit; ? Chaffinch; Meadow with Rumex and pink Silene; Swamp Hen
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Old 01-26-2010, 12:09 PM   #102
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Question Birds etc.

I'm not much of a Birdwatcher myself but the second one looks like a Tui (stretching its neck to see something, by the look of it), The "Swamp Hen" is a Pukeko (strange bird, that one!). Dunno about the others.

Best I can do for now

Cheers
Allan

Edit: Bird pic #1 is Native Pigeon (x2) - Kereru, Bird pic #2 is a Tui, Bird pic #3 is ?? No idea :shrug, Bird pic #4 is a Blackbird (male apparently), Bird pic #5 is an Oyster Catcher, either the South Island variety (probably) or the "Variable" :shrug Torea is Maori name. Bird pic #6 is hard to pick, but my guess is a Long-tailed Cuckoo (not sure of native name), Bird pic #7 is another hard-to-pick unit by my guess is a Chaffinch. Not native and Bird pic # 8 is the afore-mentioned Pukeko.

As for the flora pics - next!

Allan
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Mileater screwed with this post 01-26-2010 at 01:43 PM
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Old 01-26-2010, 11:59 PM   #103
slartidbartfast OP
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An evening in The Sprig & Fern

A nice selection behind the bar - I mean the beers


Warewolf and his orange beast (one of only three 640 adventures in the country)
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MSF Ridercoach IBA: 35353 95 R1100GSA, 93 GTS1000, 85 R80RT, 93 DR350/435, 99 RX125, 78 DT100
January 2010 New Zealand South Island ride
Summer 2009 UK to Alps ride
Summer 2008 UK End-to-End ride
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:07 AM   #104
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Tuesday 26th route

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January 2010 New Zealand South Island ride
Summer 2009 UK to Alps ride
Summer 2008 UK End-to-End ride
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Old 01-27-2010, 01:18 AM   #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slartidbartfast

Warewolf and his orange beast (one of only three 640 adventures in the country)
Jeez, see where he got the name

Just need a set of them plastics fangs

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