I was sad to be leaving Golden Bay, but glad I was able to get out. The forecast storm wasn't full on yet, but the weather certainly was deteriorating.
By the end of the day 200-300mm of rain had fallen (with another 250-380mm expected) and roads I had been riding around Golden Bay and Nelson were closed by the storm. On top of that, ten days later Cyclone Dovi struck NZ causing widespread damage.
I was heading to Christchurch, to fly home for a week, but had a night in Hanmer Springs enroute.
Back over Tākaka Hill, not a day for riding it!
Checked out the mechanics holiday bolthole, ready for a retirement place.
Bravo HGT in Motueka Valley, took the scenic quiet road I'd recently ridden.
Maruia Falls were pumping from all the rainfall. Amazing to think these were created overnight by the 1929 Murchison earthquake. Took the advice given...
If you are photobombed by a bee, is it photo'bee'mbed?
This is a stunning drive, even in less than perfect weather.
The St James Walkway Car Park: In 2012 we cycled from here back to Hanmer Springs.
Back then were supposed to be riding West but headed East, downhill with a strong tailwind, and later drove back. The advantage of a supported tour and one of my most memorable South Island rides.
Quite a lot of road works in the pass, gloomy weather in the distance.
Island Hills overlooking Hope River
Remember stopping at the top of this climb, for a rest and photos, when cycling in 2012.
It was in December, a lot greener before the summer heat kicked in.
About a decade since I was last here, lots of development in a once small mountain village.
I changed my plans enroute, decided to add a day to my stay. Had booked at Forest Peak Motel, days before, but had asked, on arrival if I could add an extra night. Unfortunately, they were fully booked but I found for another place for the second (Friday) night. Took a bit of finding as the long Waitangi holiday weekend meant, if not booked, many places had a two-night minimum.
Once settled in I just went for a short walk around the village, got some takeaway dinner, and retired for the night as more rain set in.