Riding the legendary Queen Charlotte Track over two days saw 7 keen riders turn out. Unfortunately we were lacking the prime instigator, Kevin, who unfortunately had to pull out at the 11th hour.
Feeling somewhat leaderless we set off nice and early from the Picton marina on a water taxi to the start at Ship Cove. After the obligatory photo at Captain Cook's monument it was onto the track, and rumours of an easier sidling having been cut to make the first section easier were immediately proven wrong. The first few kilometres were a slog of much hike-a-bike up steep, rocky and often slippering track.
Thankfully the terrain did get easier, but on checking our map it was revealed that the first day would be a 53km effort, as opposed to 43km as first thought.
The good thing about the QCC is the option to opt out and use the road instead, which two of our party decided to do one we reached Camp Bay. They may have taken the better option as the next 25km provided some of the most challenging riding. Cramp and tired legs soon became a problem but the overnight stop at Portage eventually came into sight.
A night of luxury not usually experienced when doing an overnight ride lay ahead. The water taxi had taken our luggage to the overnight stop, meaning we didn't need to carry anything and could take extras - a hearty stew, two types of pudding, plenty cheese and crackers and wine made for a feast.
The second day was far easier, although involved some more hike-a-bike up the climb out of Portage. By 12.30pm we had reached Anakiwa and settled for some left over cheese and crackers while waiting for the boat - tough times indeed!
The weekend was one of great riding - even though there was some suffering - great food and great company. It will have to be done again, but with Kevin!
Photos in the gallery