Monday, February 20, 2012

Day 18: Picton to Renwick

Distance: 45.1k
Distance so far: 1,068.4
Speed: 19.2k/h
Runkeeper logs: 1 2

Time to get started on the South Island! Today I caught the ferry from Wellington to Picton, then set out from Picton for my destination for the night, Renwick. Renwick is right in the heart of Marlborough's wine country, surrounded on all sides by wineries.

I was first off the ferry at Picton, with myself and the other bike riders positioned right at the front of the hold. Watching the enormous steel doors gradually lower was rather impressive.

The ride out from Picton was a real joy, except from the traffic. There's a short hill to get out of Picton, and then it's more or less flat the whole way, though it felt distinctly like a slight downhill. I cruised along between 25km/h and 30km/h, putting in next to no effort and enjoying the day and the scenery. Traffic was initially pretty heavy, but there was a shoulder most of the way, and the traffic lightened as the ferry emptied out.

Because if you don't you're going to have some mansplaining to do!
I stopped just outside Blenheim at Annie's, where I had a tasty toasted sandwich and a coffee, and picked up a couple of delicious fruit leathers, then continued on through Blenheim, where I made the turnoff to Renwick.

This area is truly saturated with wineries; there's often fields full of grapevines on both sides of the road, and there's plenty of places to go for wine tastings. I stopped off at a couple - Cloudy Bay and Fromm - and the wines were interesting, but none were so amazing I felt compelled to order some to send back home.

The next leg of the trip is west along the inland route to St Arnaud, but I'm considering staying an extra day here and doing a tour of the wineries. Another consideration is that my phone is on its last legs - it refuses to charge from anything except the official AC adapter, and is convinced it's charging even when it's not - and I foolishly left the charger in Wellington. Not having a phone is really going to put a dent in things since I'm using it both to track my progress and as my primary means of Internet access, so taking a day off would allow me to visit Blenheim and pick up a cheap Android alternate phone. I'm incredibly frustrated I have to do this, but getting angry at the phone doesn't seem to make any difference.

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