A ride Woodend to Picton.

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Ready to go.

On a fine November morning Leo packed his Ducati Panigale and I loaded up the Harley Road King.

We were setting off on a small tour of the upper South Island starting with a 310 KM run north to Picton.

First stop was in the small town of Cheviot about an hour and 20 minutes from home. Leos bike is new to him so this was a chance to stretch legs and have a chat about our bikes. We chatted to another lady on a Harley at the cafe. She and her partner are from the North Island doing a tour of the South Island.

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Motorcycle helmets really do make an awful mess of your hair!


State Highway one north winds its way among the Kaikoura foothills before hugging the coastline with the railway and mountains on one side and the sea on the other. Back in November 2016 an earthquake devastated this part of the world. This main highway and railway was closed for many months due to large landslides. The repairs are still ongoing. There were many roadworks along the coastal stretch both before and after the town of Kaikoura. At one time the town was completely cut off from the outside world.

We stopped in Kaikoura for lunch and a comfort break. It has been a stop start ride. It's astonishing the damage to the hills caused by the earthquake. Huge scars clearly show where the landslides were. Wire netting protects the road and rail for the future. The many roadworks backed the traffic up into parcels. There were many big trucks on the road.

We reached Picton at 16:00 and checked into the Top 10 holiday camp. After a shower we set off for the town for some dinner. We got as far as the Seamus Irish pub. A cold cider for Leo and a Guinness for me washed away the road dirt. After a good dinner its an early night for the two of us. As we left the pub we met the lady we chatted to in the cafe at Cheviot. They are catching the ferry north in the morning. We will head for the west coast via some amazing roads that I have travelled before but are new to Leo.

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Parked for the night.

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Oh go on then!

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Om nom nom.



Mark Dexter 2015