Monday, 1/3- Waikawa Bay Holiday Park, Picton
I am at an angle. The entire caravan is, in fact, at an angle. This is not my fault. The whole campground lists decidedly to one side. We'll wake up stacked against the wall tonight. At least the water will drain.
The day began again in Nelson, only this time more was open. We went to the shop that created the One Ring for the Lord of the Rings movies and admired the copies on display. I resisted unleashing the inner Gollum as there was a family present and the lady was trying to make a sale. Preciousssssss.
We arrived, as if by magic, at another yarn shop where Angela fondled, I talked with the shopkeeper, and we left is an addition to the ever-growing stash. I found a New Zealand shirt I like. Not an All Blacks but it does have the silver fern on it. Close enough. Not my fault we don't have where I grew up! But with my book on rugby I'm determined to learn. The wife and I are half-seriously discussing tickets to London in October for the Rugby World Cup. Yes, its happening in New Zealand, but London people will care and that will make it much more fun to watch in pubs. Plus I've never been to London. Probably too much money. We'll see.
On the drive from Nelson to Havelock (beautiful, twisty, blah, blah, blah) I reflected on the competing dual purposes of our trip. On one hand we want to see as much of New Zealand as possible, so we spend some days traveling many km to that end. On the other hand we want to experience as much of New Zealand as we can (and as is financially possible). So we hike and wander and stop along the road. Too many times we've been forced to pass over something because we just don't have the time. Its a big, busy country, something we don't think about coming from the flat 48. Drive from LA to New York and there will be loooooong stretches of nothing exciting aside fomr the Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota. But from one end of NZ to the other there is so much to do. Maybe its because I'm a visitor.
Quick break in Havelock where nothing interesting was happening then we hit Queen Charlotte Drive. It was a Double T road (Tight and Twisty) complete with 20km/h and less hairpins (I'll let you do the conversion), one after another after another after another and blinding beauty on one side where the sound sat, blue and pristine and full of boaters we are jealous of. But parts we Triple T (Tight, Twisty, and Terrifying) like when the road dipped on the outside edge of a tight bend with no guardrail, or the washouts that created sudden obstacles in one lane sections. A bike road? Yeah. A cautious, sweaty, ohhhh my bike road? Yeah yeah. We pulled off a few times to settle stomachs and catch our breath, only to have the view steal it back. At our last stop we were both ready to be done with the Queen and asked, “Do ya think its much farther?” Literally around one more corner we looked down at Picton and left the Queen.
First stop! The internet cafe and hostel of a week ago where I left my sweatshirt. They had it! Joy of joys and other exclamations!
We found our holiday park for the night and walked to the harbour, where we ate overpriced but yummy Fisherman's Platters at the Jolly Roger. Am I excited to eat at a place with a skull and cross bones logo? Aye. Did I steal a menu? Aye. Am I done using this self question and answer convention for a while? Aye hope so.
So tonight is our last night on South Island. We loved it. We did not have enough time. We have to come back to see the rest of it. My breaks aren't long enough and my pay is too low. Wah wah wah. But in the words of Ah-nold, “I'll be bach.”
The ferry is during the day tomorrow so we should be able to see everything. Should be pretty. More pictures!