1/13 8:10am, interislander ferry, waiting for departure...This ferry is like a hotel, with food courts, bar, lounges, kids center, a cinema, and a multi-level parking garage... Alarm at 6am today, packed, and hit the road ~6:50am. Debated about stopping at Deluxe, but didn't want to cut it close to the terminal. Wendy already had an extra Deluxe croissant wrap from yesterday to bring. We arrived at the terminal just after 7am, and waited in line to board. The ferry is monstrous, and took on several 32-wheel tractor trailers. Skies are mostly cloudy with some light rain as we waited in queue, but patches of blue sky are letting in wide beams of light on the water.
We grabbed a spot on a cushioned bench facing the TV in the bar lounge. Soccer and tennis are on the TVs. Its filling up with people. Should depart shortly. It's chilly on the ferry this morning. We have plenty of layers on.Some NZ things we've noticed;
Some rocky coast as we voyage into the Marlborough Sound of the South Island...
A wide look in the Marlborough Sound. Took almost an hour to reach the port of Picton, once we entered the Sound...
11:09pm, Kiwiana backpackers, TakakaWendy's hand at the journal: (with slight edits by Matt) Very itchy today. Have a rash, bought lotion and anti itch creme. Napped on ferry - wake up and it's hazy outside. the outside deck is warmer than the inside cabin. Views are pretty dreary under overcast skies. See part of the Queen Charlotte Track from the Marlborough Sound (had contemplated hiking it, but decided to focus elsewhere)... Unload from ferry ~11:35am, drive towards Havelock on Queen Charlotte Drive. Decide to take the scenic windy slow way. I start to get carsick and we decide to backtrack to Picton and take the highway route since we might not have enough gas on the slow way. We drive through wine country (Marlborough). Tons of construction today, with several closed lanes.
We stop in Nelson (known for arts and crafts). Visit Penguino Ice cream first for 3 scoops: roasted pumpkin seed, manukura honey, and fejita (NZ beery) gelato. Then stop at a kebab place for a lamb and hummus platter to share. Lots of good things I want to buy here. Some glass, some wool, but we don't know how much yarn you need to make something. Pottery is good here.
We stop at the jewelry store that made "the One ring" for LOTR, then race on out of town and go to the grocery store. Buy 1kg of mussels, and lots of other food ($70). We have lots of food. Tons of food. Stop by the Walmart equivalent for anti-itch cream.
Our lamb & hummus platter (after ice cream), and a visit to the jeweler that crafted "The One Ring" for the LOTR movies...
We leave Nelson at 5:30pm, and head north to Takaka. More lane closures, and slow logging trucks. The sun finally comes out and makes stuff pretty. Then drive up a mountain pass, and enter a cloud. Windy road. Cloudy on other side of mountain.
We dove up into the mountains, eventually reaching the low clouds...
Descend into broad valley, arrive at Takaka (pop 1300) ~7:30. Find our hostel, Kiwiana. Our room is a caravan turned into a dorm room. Retro decorations. Friendly staff. There's lemon and orange trees next to our caravan.
We cook dinner in the outdoor BBQ kitchen, next to the spa: mussels in wine/lemon/garlic sauce, salad, BBQ mushrooms, peppers, zucchini, onions, guacamole, and yams. A feast!
We used the small kitchen outside, and had it all to ourselves this evening. No hot water there though. Our dinner came out quite nice!
Back to Matt's hand at the journal:After dinner, Wendy marinates lamb for tomorrow (we'll be staying here again). I do dishes, make PBJ for tomorrow. Big hike planned for tomorrow at Abel Tasman National Park. Skies have cleared this evening. Should be awesome weather tomorrow.
Go to Next Day