“Don’t look back, you are not going that way.”

We saw these words written on a wall in a cafe, where we had one of our last coffees in Wanaka with Pukar, Jakub’s friend and ex-collegue. And they impressed us because we have remembered them several times over the last week.

Thursday morning. We left Wanaka with fully loaded car, sad and excited at the same time, and headed to Christchurch. We slept at friends place, where we also left our car and were going to take a bus to Picton on Friday morning. At the bus station, a bus crew strictly said, we can go, our bikes can’t. We looked at them and strictly said we go and the bikes go too. After couple minutes of silence the driver agreeded and then they loaded the bikes into the bus trunk. Hooray!

Queen Charlotte Crew, left to right: Jakub, Dasha, Megan, Ace and Tereza

But the real adventure started on Saturday morning. Tereza, Megan, Ace and us took a water taxi to a trail head of Queen Charlotte Track. We knew the track won’t be easy and of course it wasn’t. “Don’t look back, don’t stop!” repeating to myslef, when almost crying and pushing my 30kg bike uphill. I am HUNGRY and TIRED, and the fact Jakub flew of the track ending in the bushes a wee while ago doesn’t help either. But we needed to move forward. After a very slow uphill followed by even a slower downhill the track got better. Finally I enjoyed downhill ride and beautiful bay views. On Sunday evening we were back in Picton and was time to say good bye to Tereza, Megan and Ace. From now it’s just us…

Ferry to Wellington

Monday morning was pretty chilled. We packed our gear, checked in ferry terminal and then we left the South Island after almost three years living there. The strange mixture of feelings got magnified.

Once we reached shores of Wellington we didn’t have much time to think about what we feel. We had to push our peddals to reach Lower Hutt before dusk. Our friend Ron was waiting for us with a dinner.

Jakub and Ron on a wee bike ride

After Tuesday restday in Wellington we carried on. Ron asked if he can join us for next couple of days. Even if he hasn’t had any experience with bikepacking we happily aggreeded. After he improvised packing his camping gear we left Lower Hutt to cycle Rimutaka Rail Trail…

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