It was a damp start to the day and nothing of my kit is really dry, but it doesn’t matter as this is the last day. I packed, stuffing everything back into dry bags and panniers and then strolled out of the trees to find some early sun. This is by far the coolest start I’ve had on the road in three weeks, with dew on the ground and a stillness in the air. All is quiet in Greytown. I skipped breakfast, I was out of coffee and wanted to hit the road.
The state highway south to Featherston was light of traffic and breeze. In one of only a few days on this entire trip it was calm and flat, with the sun streaming like staccato through the tree lined road. Rimutaka growing ominous in advance of me.
I’d already chosen the incline route and considering what I’d done to date this should be an easy climb, but trepidation was getting the better of me. After coffee I swung south from Featherston to find the beginning of the incline.
The last climb
The climb up from the Wairarapa proved to be suitable grade as my worn tyres slipped and crawled their way over the rough ground, I just keep going and going, crossing the debris field thrown down by the storm clouds further up the ravine, transiting the tunnel and there is was… the summit. All my trepidation abated. I’d made the top and everything from here was basically downhill.
The southern route was a slow river flowing down the mountains. It almost felt like it had stretched itself out smooth and long to bathe in the morning sun. Best I get on in case its mood changes. I have to say that the incline has been one of the most stunning tracks I’ve taken so far… and familiar as it dropped down into the high valley of Kaitoke.
I’d reached the top of the Hutt by noon… it was now a river trail south to Wellington. It’s a gloriously still and sunny day. Perfect ground.
I pulled up on the Petone foreshore to get a glimpse of the finish line way across the bay (Wellington), just as Jack White began to wail Wayfaring stranger.
‘I’m just a poor wayfaring stranger. Traveling through this world below. There is no sickness, no toil, nor danger. In that bright land to which I go’
Timing is everything.
The end of the line
I pushed onto Wellington at pace, with renewed energy, I felt I could go on and on. The end of the line was Queens wharf and I was there before I knew it.
1,668 kilometres later, to the hour of starting way up at Cape Reinga three weeks earlier, I was there. Alone. All I could think of to say was… “is that all there is?”
Todays top track: Little feat – Willin’