We drove through the rain to get to Motueka. Our wet weather gear was thoroughly put to the test. It passed with flying colours. Driving the Buller Gorge was exciting, the river looks like a chocolate milkshake with chocolate logs floating through it. The river was swollen with debris, swiftly flowing, angry and full of huge trees. I’m not sure where they came from but they were big and were being tossed around like toothpicks. it was quite a sight. This was a 4 hour or so ride as we broke it up with a stop at NZ’s longest swing bridge, paid the $5.00 fee and walked across. This meant that we were suspended above the chocolate milkshake that was the Buller River for quite some time. After the swing bridge you can choose to do a short bush walk which we did. I was delighted to see Bellbirds and the biggest happiest, shiniest tui I have ever seen. This was a great place to stop and break up the trip.
Our next stop was for lunch where we stopped at Murchison. I had a classic old school egg sandwich. It was a childhood flashback moment for me when I bit into the soft fresh white bread and tasted the salted eggy goodness. I was in heaven. We met another touring couple who were on a BMW. The Mrs was impressed when she saw that we too had ‘Rider Grips’ (handles that the ‘driver’ of the bike wears around their waist that the pillion can hold on to). We also heard about the magical properties of the ‘comfort seat’ that they had retro fitted to the bike for touring. Her famous quote was “He can’t bring a new bike home if it doesn’t have a comfort seat.” so naturally i am intrigued to try this seat. After 12 or so days of riding with the longest non stop ride being 5 hours where my tail bone was protesting rather loudly – i am keen to try anything with the word ‘comfort’ in it. my derrière hasn’t quite been the same since the 5 hour endurance ride. i think it broke somewhere along the Haast Pass. Thank goodness for spa pool and hot pools. I think i would do more riding if there was a guaranteed spa pool soak at the end of each ride.
We arrived at our final accommodation spot high on the hills of Motueka with captivating views of farmland, across the river and out to the town and beyond. The setting up here is divine. The gardens are full of natives and native birds. There is a grassy knoll out on a point in the yard with a garden seat where our thoughtful hosts delivered our glasses of red wine to us that we had left behind in the kitchen. Divine.
We ended the night with a soak in the spa and went to sleep listening to the call of the morepork.