We slept soundly after our 11.5 hour first up day and decided not to get up too early electing to set off at 10.30am. This gave us time for a leisurely breakfast (fresh scones and bacon, sausage and eggs) and allowed me time to get day one blog completed while Tony and Virginia got all the gear back in the Amarok. Meantime Rene had our bikes all fine-tuned and ready to go and Denise had our water and electrolytes all chilled, these guys are something special, neat to have them.
Riding out of Nelson is largely on designated cycle tracks so it was no surprise to see dozens of cyclists out riding to and from Nelson. What was surprising was to note the number of riders that would easily be in their 70's getting along very nicely thank you. We took it slowly warming up and arrived in Wakefield 30km away around 1.00pm. Chicken wraps, a cup of tea and some ginger beer were consumed and we had a great chat with a couple of lovely local people who were mightily impressed and appreciative of what we were doing. They left to get onto our give a little site and make a donation.
The next 30km of the journey was on white gravel road and included a circa 7km elevation to a height of 326 metres. It was totally comfortable by comparison to going over the Maungatapu Track saddle yesterday. After cresting the hill we enjoyed a prolonged downhill ride and did not stop to drink/fuel until we hit Dovedale School, the last 10km was all downhill on sealed road.
Back on our bikes we arrived at a junction in the road where we had intended to turn off onto gravel based Sunday Creek Road. Meanwhile Tony had stopped to chat with a lovely local lady who suggested Sunday Creek Road was rather gruelling and that we should continue down the main road as traffic was not that heavy and although a couple of kilometres longer it would be quicker… no brainer for us. It was a great ride mostly flat and downhill.However 6km out of our destination we came upon a decidedly long and steepish hill, only blessing, it was sealed road. Heading down the other side we reached speeds of 60km before flattening out for a comfortable 3km finish to Tapawera. As usual Rene and Denise had checked us in and put all our luggage in the room and as soon as we pulled up they grabbed our bikes and left us to get on with freshening up. It was great to have a comfortable 76km day and arrive at our accommodation (camping ground chalets in heartland NZ, very relaxing) at the civilised time of 5.15pm. Tonight we're headed for the local pub for a feed but not before a glass of Pinot Noir.