Saturday, December 22, 2007

Day 88: Motueka to Marahau

Time: 1:26:59
Distance: 19.75 k
Avg Speed: 13.6 kph
Terrain: One big hill
Location: 41˚ 00’ 2.7” S, 173˚ 00’ 3.9” E

For once I was the first one awake and moving today. I’m sure it was because we were headed to Marahau and a one week stay on our own cabin. We booked the accommodation back in June after much debate about what we should do for Christmas. Now after three months on the road, we are very happy that we decided to do it.
Our ride was quite short and we didn’t mind the big hill we had to ride up and over to get to Marahau. We arrived at the Ocean View Chalets just before lunch and had some tea while we waited for our room. Robert, our host, is very cool and has been following our website a bit. We chatted about Nepal and his trip there this past fall. We’ll be riding from Lhasa to Kathmandu next September and were very interesting in his perspectives on that part of the world.
Robert led us to our cabin as we pushed our bikes up the driveway. The cabins are set up on some hills above a few acres of hayfields and have a nice view of the ocean. As he opened the door we saw a stack of boxes from home. For the next hour or so we forgot about everything else and enjoyed all sorts of goodies from our friends and family. I thought it would be the sun to recharge me, but I think it will also be from reading cards and letters and hearing familiar voices. Thanks to everyone who sent something. You don’t know how much we appreciate it and someday we will definitely “pay it forward”.

Marahau is a small village on the north side of the South Island. It is part of the Tasman District which happens to be one of the fastest growing places in New Zealand. The district covers about 9800 sq kilometers and had almost 48,000 people. Most of the population lives in and around the urban area of Richmond. Marahau is somewhat removed and sits along Tasman Bay near the gateway to Abel Tasman National Park. With sparkling blue water surrounded by lush green mountains, it’s hard to deny that this place won’t feel the pressure of development at some point in the future. For now it plays host to a laid back tourist getaway.

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