No breakfast options again. And the rain was back! I layered up and hit the road north to Pukitaiki and the Pancake Rocks. Decent walk to various viewpoints got me all hot and bothered. The sights were pretty cool with the power of the ocean very much in evidence.

There was a cafe at Pukitaiki but I decided to keep pushing though. This turned into a theme of this day’s journey. Push through. That was all fine until I started getting tired and hungry … then there was a lack of lunch options.

Finally I pulled into Matheson and the Beechwood Cafe. My first caffeine of the day and an omelette were much appreciated. Note to self, have breakie if you are riding long distances.

I made it to the very hip little town of Nelson. My casa for the night was the Quest Nelson which is one street off the main drag. There is a good Brewpub chain called Sprig & Fern that was recommended to me by my new Brewtour amigos. They make a heap of their own beers. I thought I was going wine tonight … I was mistaken.

One odd thing, they smoke in pubs here. Not inside-inside but rather on the patios etc. How novel. Another oddity … retro muscle cars cruising the main drag and peeling out at intersections. What??

One remark about traveling here. It is remarkable how tropical this South Island is; even at the start of fall as it is. At times, the foliage reminds me profoundly of Maui. Most of the tourists are older. Average age seems to be 70 with the exception of the backpackers. They are kids from various countries that seem cut from the same early 20’s cloth.

Apart from the Smaug tunnel to Milford Sound, I’ve only had one “scare”. There was an enormous truck that inhabited the whole lane and kicked up tonnes of spray. Naturally, it was slower and raining. After keeping an eye on the oncoming traffic I pulled out and went for the pass. Bear in mind that the 1200 cc BMW makes passing easy. I’m rarely out of my lane for more that 4 seconds max. This time, I spotted the opening and went for it. With all that power, I was along side the trailer quickly. Then thru the spray, I saw an oncoming car … without running lights. Apparently that is a thing. Not everyone has auto-lights or turns their lights on in shitty weather. I started breaking hard; the truck could see this happening and started breaking. It all work out ok. I could break harder and I cruised back to my lane safe. However, it was my one chancy episode so far.

So, on another note, Stefano’s Pizza is right above the Nelson theatre. It came recommended as the best pizza in town. I’m game to see. I am having the house Special which included ham and blue cheese. Should be interesting.

The rain, which subsided in the mid afternoon, is back with a vengeance. I could almost call it “Chubby Rain”. Name that movie for extra points.

Head back to my casa. I have to leave this island tomorrow am!!!

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