North end of South Island
Trip Start Sep 30, 2013
88Trip End May 31, 2014
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Where I stayed
Crossed to South Island on the 9am Interislander ferry.
This was a very nice ride, though I undestand that these waters are frequently rough. The sun shone, the scenery was great, the coffee was good and we had a wide window seat with which to enjoy the 3 and 1/2 hour ride.
The last hour or more (closest to Picton) is spent navigating Queen Charlotte Sound. Just look at the map to appreciate the miriad of channels and islands around here. We hope to ride or hike or kayak some of it.
Tuesday 18h February
The focus for the day was sorting out what we going to do for the next 2 weeks. We came up with the outline of a plan and managed to hire a car to be picked up Wednesday evening and reurned to Christchurch on Monday March 3rd as we depart for Australia. The plan will unfold as it happens!
In the evening we went sailing.
When we arrived at the hostel in Picton yesterday the manager(ess) noticed my Kantara polo shirt and we got into a conversation about sailing which resulted in us being invited to crew in tonight`s race organised by Waikawa boating club. There were six of us on board a 33 foot cruiser and the skipper was pretty competative so it was a really exciting couple of hours.
Back in the boating club we met many nice people and had good chats about sailing and various other wide ranging topics. One of them still sails a laser competatively at the age of 64 and spoke wisely about the ageing process. Another is a bee keper and honey maker, the 4th generation in his 98 year old family business. So many ordinary, nice genuine people (sailors, of course.)
When we got back to the hostel, at 9:30pm, the spa bath was still open so Marian and I had a warm soak and reflected on our good fortune.
Wednesday 19th February
We spent the morning in a 2 man kayak exploring the little bays and inlets of Queen Charlotte Sound (with a guide). We saw some stingrays, pied shags and hundreds of jelly fish but after 3 hours I had a stiff leg and a sore bum.
In the afternoon we rode mountains bikes for 8 miles up and down the excellently maintained track. The 'up' was a push but the 'down' was pretty exciting. When we got to Mistletoe Bay there was a boat waiting to take us back to Picton. The full track is 71 Km (45 miles).A great day, though the muscles did ache a bit.