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06.12.2019 Challenging crossings.  Maybe it was in reaction to our quick departure from the capital that on our way to the ferry terminal the winds and rains blew us through Wellington's streets with full force and put our waterproof gear to the test. We could definitely have spent more time in this city, but there will probably be more occasions in the future and we were simply eager to move on to the South Island. Taking the ferry on a stormy day is perhaps a bit risky, and the waves were quite impressive indeed on the high seas of Cook Strait, which did not agree with all passengers' stomachs. Luckily we were fine and could fully enjoy the 3.5-hours crossing to Picton, which offered stunning views once our ship reached the much calmer sounds and bays in the northeast of the South Island. We spent the night in Picton, treating ourselves to an evening bath in our hostel's open air jacuzzi, and then cycled on to a charming DoC campsite in the green forests of Marlborough, a region known for its wines. Unfortunately, we had to take a longer detour, as the scenic route we had wanted to take was closed due to a landslide. At the campsite, we got to know David from Switzerland, who cycles the world on a hybrid trike powered by solar panels mounted on an aluminum trailer. Meeting him in person was a bit like coming across a mythical creature out in the wild, as some of our Warmshowers hosts had accommodated him before and already told us about him and his unique way of travelling. The next day a real challenge was waiting for us, when we set out on the conquest of Mangatapu Saddle via a steep and difficult gravel track of the same name. With rough trails, demanding climbs, steep downhill sections and streams to wade through, this crossing was quite an adventure, and getting both of us and our heavily loaded bikes to Nelson on this route required a real team effort. #scoutbound #neuseeland #nz #newzealand #nelson #bluebridge #ferry #picton #jacuzzi #mangatapu #solarbikes #vineyard #trees #landslide #sunbeam #warmshowers #couchsurfing #scouts #dpsg #worldbycycling

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