Into an Area of Uncertain VisibiltyNot the best motel in the world but very friendly at the Palm Court. Slept very well until 6am then that was it, the sound of the rain was to say the least a bit off putting.

Packed up and loaded the machine and set off in search of fuel for the beast and breakfast for me. We'll say no more of breakfast, it was a little basic. The machine seemed happy on it's diet and today turned 6,000km old, two months worth, I suspect I'll slow down shortly.

The rain lasted on and off through the Buller Gorge giving a serious new emotion to the ride. Fear. The wet and greasy roads were deserted but not user friendly. Anyway by Murcheson and a morning coffee stop things had mostly dried out although there were still areas of wet to contend with.

Launching Sea KayaksNext major stop was Motueka where the temperature had returned to proper kiwi levels, the sign in town claimed 18C and I was able to turn the heated grips to position one and remove my neck scarf. The thermals stayed put. Lunch in Motueka and a visit to the Abel Tasman Park were in order, all worthy of far more time than I'm giving them but this is a motorcycle tour, not sightseeing.

A man in Motueka said that the hill between Nelson and the Sounds was fabulous and he was absolutely right! Not a lot of overtaking places but traffic is so slow up hill it's not a problem.

Anyway the drama of the day took place shortly after I'd slowed to let an anxious BMW Dakar (very similar to my bike) pass. I was following him at a distance and he overtook a horsefloat turning (and signalling) right with predictable consequences. Stopped to help but other than being shaken and a sore leg there was no serious injury to anyone or the machine. Lucky.

The SoundsFinally arrived at my friends place in the Sounds, near Linkwater, having taken the precaution of stocking up with beer and food in Nelson. Good job as going to dinner would have been fine but the road on the bike in the dark with a couple of beers on board would have been decidedly dodgy.

So that's really it for the South Island there remains only a short run to the ferry tomorrow, I'll be very glad to get home but it really has been the most incredible fun down in the south. Probably need warmer gear for next time.