Picton and the ferry
The journey from Kaikoura was fairly uneventful and relaxing compared to the rest of the travelling we had done so far. It's about a 2 hour drive from Kaikoura and most of it is along the coast so we were treated to yet more spectacular views on our journey.
We arrived at Picton and went straight out to the town to get something to eat. For a major port, ie this is where the Interislander ferry goes from, the port was really very small and quaint. There were lots of large private boats moored as well as the local fishermen's boats. We found a little Irish pub, (there's always an Irish pub wherever you go) and had a lovely meal. We got chatting to the barmaid who had been travelling for 2 years around Australasia and had literally got off the ferry, walked straight into the pub and got a job. The pub was lively and just as we were finishing our food a local Irish band started to play. To be honest it was the liveliest pub we had been in and it was a shame we had to leave early.
The next morning, the 14th, we we up at 4.45 preparing to get to the ferry by 5.25 am. Surprisingly, Var, who is not a morning person, was pleasantly bright and cheerful
The first thing we did when we got on board was have breakfast. Our eating habits have been surprisingly shocking. The first few days in the country we ate nothing but toast and more toast because we were always on the go, so grabbing a breakfast was the sensible thing to do especially as we had a long journey ahead of us once we reached the North Island. However we had just sat down with our food and coffees when Var went to lift her coffee cup up and the lid came off, drowing the fry up in coffee. Thankfully, one of the ladies from the restaurant heard her gasp as the coffee was spilt and replaced everything.
After breakfast we went up on deck, the sun was rising and the first part of the journey is through Queen Charlotte Sound, a group of islands, some inhabited and some not. The scenery was beautiful and it made a lovely change just to sit back a watch it pass by peacefully. However it was cold and so we couldn't spend too long up top and returned to the lounge where we sat watching the news waiting for news of the upcoming semi-finals. There were two TVs in the lounge, one was showing golf and was pretty loud, the other was showing some breakfast show which had a lot of info about the ABs and the rugby. As you can imagine there were a few people on the ferry interested in the ABs team and we were all waiting to hear about the side Graham Henry had picked. Var leanet forward, pressed what she thought was "V" for volume and the picture went black. She was mortified and tried desparately to get the picture back but to no avail all the while being heckled, good naturedly, by a group of kiwi lads sat behind us. I, regrettably, was not much help as I was practically hysterical. Eventually she went to ask one of the crew for help and the picture was restored without too much further trouble.
The rest of the trip passed uneventfully and we arrived in Wellington without any further dramas.