All that remained for my time on the South Island was a short 55km to Picton, the city from which the ferry departs. Felt a little sad to be leaving the island, but am excited for the change.
James had another tube blow within minutes of pulling out this morning. He had neglected to patch the one that punctured yesterday so we walked back to the picnic tables by camp and he went to work patching two tubes.
It didn't seem like the tire was holding up well, even with the boot. The hole was right on the spot of the s-shaped bend I mentioned yesterday and the tire was very worn to begin with. After the flats were mended, we set off again but unfortunately about 15km later the tire had slowly gone flat. James pumped it up and we continued but it went flat much more quickly this time. When we stopped we discovered that the road had worn through the tire fabric as well as the boot. Doesn't seem to be any way we are going to be able to get his bike in rideable shape to make it to Picton.
We decided it would be best for James to hitch the remainder and for me to ride it alone, as getting a ride for one bike would be easier than two. It was insisted that I ride on from this point because even the extra person present would make trying to hitch pointless. I wanted to stick around and wait but finally conceded and left a man behind.
James managed to catch a lift to the next town, where he found the only shop selling bicycle gear to have nothing but 26″ tires, so nothing for is 700c road wheels. From there, he took a bus the remaining way to Picton.
I continued riding through what was possibly one of the best rides I've had here. I took the winding and beautifully scenic route from Havelock to Picton alongside Queen Charlotte Sound.
When I made it to Picton I was saddened to find out the YHA here is an affiliate, and that means the cyclist discount does not apply. Instead I pitched my tent at an awesome little hostel called Jugglers' Rest. Got a warm shower, a cozy place to read and watched some people throw fire around at night.