Day 82 on the Road
Mountain biking on the Link Pathway
Today on New Zealand’s BIGGEST Gap Year we are taking on the Link Pathway track for some mountain biking in Picton!
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Today we’re finally going mountain biking. We haven’t been mountain biking so far and New Zealand is the country of mountain biking so today is the day.
This morning we are leaving the Tombstone Hostel really early to make our way to the office of Wilderness Guides which are going to be giving us bikes to go on the Link Pathway Track.
The first thing that we get to do is to try on the bikes they are the latest super tech bikes we have get – they have hydraulic suspension and they’re really fun to play with. Laura and I are both very comfortable on them so we make our way toward the track.
After a short climb at the beginning of the Link Pathway we get into and start mountain biking this relatively new track in the Marlborough region. It’s really awesome to start with, the track is super well-maintained it’s impossible to get lost.
This morning it’s super foggy, there’s low cloud and it adds a really mystical feel to the forest we can see due on the cobwebs there are lots of drops hanging from the ferns.
The great thing about this new track is the gradient is super easy for beginners. There are some really short and mellow uphill sections followed by some really fun downhills. It looks like the track has been carved right onto the mountain to just make it like a fun roller-coaster for beginners.
As we are making our way in the forest and alongside the mountain ridges the fog is slowly lifting up it’s a very long and steady process but we start seeing the views through the trees. It’s going to take a few more minutes until we can actually embrace the stunning views of the Marlborough Sounds surrounding us.
As soon as the clouds clear we get an awesome view of the mountains of the Marlborough Sounds which we have to take some photos of. It looks super atmospheric. these views are amazing.
Now that we’ve got our pictures, it’s time for the next section of the track which is definitely much more fun. It gets a little bit faster, the track is getting a little bit wider giving us a little bit more confidence and the gradient are getting a little bit higher as well making it a little bit more of a challenge. It is definitely a lot of fun and the views are getting even more beautiful as the clouds are revealing the mountains more and more by the minute.
The great thing about the Link Pathway is that it’s an awesome alternative to the Queen Charlotte Track and a much cheaper alternative because you can actually bike to this track from Picton town itself. And you still get awesome views of the Queen Charlotte Sound while having an awesome mountain biking experience.
We are stoked about our bikes. Laura and I never really used bikes which are that sophisticated to say the least. So seeing how those bikes handle the tracks is an absolute pleasure. We are amazed by it.
And along the track we find a hammock right in the middle so it’s nature’s way of telling us to rest.
One of the things that surprises me the most with this track is the colour of the ground on which we are biking. It’s kind of a golden or tussock kind of shade and I never really seen that before. I learn later that it’s actually a clay mountain and all this ground that we’re biking on is actually clay. Making it less likely to mud in case of heavy rain which is a pretty coll feature for a mountain biking track right on the edge of a cliff.
We finally reach our halfway point and our lunch stop which is this awesome lookout.
So this is our view where we decided to have lunch today. We’re not complaining. Also can you believe that this is literally the middle of winter here?
This is by far the best view we’ve had so far and it’s the perfect place for lunch. The view is so stunning in fact that this gets too much for Robin to handle and he decides to either pass out or take a nap. Meanwhile, I’m enjoying the views, sunbathing in paradise and watching the awesome Marlborough Sounds.
Now that we are well-fed and well-rested or at least I am we are making our way back toward Picton. Now we’ve decided to make this Link Pathway Track a one way track by stopping at a halfway point and making our way back the same way we came in. This will allow us to make our way back toward Picton much faster as we only have half a day to do it instead of a full day required to do the whole track.
However, the way back is a little bit steeper so there are some uphill struggles but we have lots of opportunities or least excuses to stop along the way. For example, we stop at this pure creek with fresh water to fill up our water bottle.
That’s one of the awesome thing in New Zealand, in many many places you can just stop by the waterfall, fill up your water bottle and just get some of the freshest water you can ever drink.
The rest of the way is exactly that we took on the way in except that this time we can actually enjoy the views that were hidden by the fog on the way in this morning. then it’s all a short way downhill on the asphalt on our way back to Picton for our next adventure tomorrow.
Tomorrow, we are leaving Picton for more Marlborough adventures, we are going to the Pelorus River which is a Hobbit filming location.