(for English texts scroll down)
Llegados a la Isla Sur empezamos a ver las posibilidades de explorar en bicicleta las zonas mas cercanas a Nelson, la ciudad que nos alberga por el momento. Después de salidas rápidas a los “chaquiñanes” locales, que son algunos, nos decidimos a ir por cuatro días a los Marlborough Sounds.
As we arrived to the South Island, maps, books and the little Mac Air come out of the bag to unveil bike-packing possibilities around Nelson, our home-city for the next couple of weeks. After some day rides on the excellent local trails, we decide to head to the Marlborough Sounds for four days.
This intricate labyrinth of bays and fiords has a long arm of land that stretches between the Kenepuru Sound and the Queen Charlotte Sound. On its ridge, a trail traverses its whole length, seventy kilometers of continuous single track known as the Queen Charlotte Track.
During the summer, the Queen Charlotte Track is popular among hikers, a few mountain bikers venture into riding its whole length. The ones who do, often rely on a boat drop off at the end of the trail and gear + food drop offs on the different campsites. During the winter months the “Queen” an her long trail are left almost undisturbed, just a few intrepid trampers want to face the ferocious winds of the Cook strait, not to mention mountain bikers.
Temptation to ride it was stronger for us and we took the chance…
-- Our "figure eights" ride started in Anakiwa, by trail, to Cowshed Bay, then to Camp Bay by road,
returning to Cowshed Bay by trail to then take road to Te Mahia Saddle and finally by trail back to Anakiwa.
-- The little hamlet of Anakiwa and its dock
-- Starting the track with dubious weather ahead and drizzling.
-- Wetness and mud eventually gave up as the track gained the ridge to dance among Manuka trees.
-- End of first day. Muddy bikes, happy and tired riders...
-- ... and hungry
-- Cowshed Bay inhabitants. The Manukas with permanent wind blown hairstyle.
-- A guest who usually stays behind sneaked as the only carry on on my pack.
-- dos ciclopedalistas.
-- all quiet at sunrise...
-- trail by the sea and...
--...trail up on the ridge as far you you can see.
-- The head of the Kenepuru Sound.
-- La Marce quemando llanta...
-- Roots, loose rock, steep, technical, smooth, hike a bike, flowy... you name it, the Queen Charlotte has it.
--Davies Bay and another great DOC camping spot.
-- Limpiarse la suela antes de subir al carro
-- Después del primer dia no llovió mas sino hasta la ultima noche. Así amanecieron las aristas para despedirnos...