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  • Writer's pictureClaire

16/03/24 Wellington to Picton

The storm raged for hours and the poor car was buffeted all night long, and we were under shelter of trees. I felt sorry for the people who were in more exposed areas with nothing but a bit of fabric protecting them from the elements. Mildred was still where we’d left her, and apart from a bonnet full of leaves we had nothing to report damage wise.  

The hot showers were a big hit again this morning, easing out the aches, and I took the opportunity to use the supplied hairdryer on my mop. At this stage of the trip it made not the slightest bit of difference or improvement but it made me feel better. Well until I looked in the mirror anyway! Then I decided I was going back to not looking in the mirror! 

By the time I’d got back Si had put the bed away, and we took the opportunity to use the site wifi to fill out our boarding info for the trip home and visas. The visa was not playing ball so we’ve yet to complete them. We also booked a camp site for the end of the South Island trip as our return journey ferry sails at 0630 and it will be Good Friday. Our thinking being, it may get booked up if we didn’t advance book. Morg and Liv are off for the Easter long weekend so we are having 3 nights with them in an alpine lodge about halfway between Auckland and wellington.

After completing all of that we decided that we just as well make our way to the ferry. Although it was early, we figured if we get there early, we would hopefully board early. After checking in at the desk we were directed to lane 2. Right at the front so we were well happy with that.  About an hour later a lad with hi vis vest and walkie talkie came and started rearranging the vehicles. When I say rearranging them, he was moving them from one line to another. We decided he didn’t have a garage and cars to play with as a kid and he was now making up for lost time by moving the ferry passengers and their vehicles around randomly. He didn’t have a Walkie talkie as a kid either, because he was on it constantly using excessive radio speak. Bless him.  

Sitting on the dock of the bay (you just sung that didnt you?) the sun was scorching! At last, the sun was out and shining on us and in the sheltered port with little breeze we were both soon sweating buckets! On a positive note, my legs had a bit of sun so that’s all good by me. There was an Asian couple in a car next to us feeding a cat that was in a basket that was precariously balanced on top of all their kit in the back seat. We half expected them to get it out on a lead to stretch its legs, but they didn’t do that. Behind us was Meryl Streep identical twin, she was a bit miserable, I guess these superstars are all the same!  

Finally at 1230hrs we began boarding, it was a slow process, but we finally drove up the ramp and parked up just outside the lift entrance. Locking the car up, we rumbled towards the lift. When it came and we got in, we had a chuckle at the sign on the wall telling us that overloading it will likely cause it to break. With us in it. We were just the two of and Mildred so we shut the door quickly to stop anyone else getting in with us. The ferry wasn’t that big, but it did have cabins a cinema cafe and charging points.  We went and sat in some comfy seats in the dining area, and bang on time we set sail for picton.  

The wind was pretty strong and due to that the boat was rocking all over the place. I bloody hate boats for those of you who may have not know this small insignificant fact about me.  It was bobbing about so much I had to hold on to the chair for grim death because it felt like I was going to fall out of it. I tried to ignore the rising nausea by distracting myself with route planning. It didn’t help! I still felt sick, and if I could describe the feeling in a colour it would be green!! 

The food in the cafe smelt quite nice but I don’t think it helped my cause.  I declined the offer of lunch, not wanting to see it coming back up. It was the longest three hours in a very long time. The Marlborough straight is a 3 hour ferry ride and is actually really pretty, the boat meanders through the fiords and the port at the other end, Picton is beautiful.  We didn’t stop there  as we’d booked a site in Blenheim for the night,  but we are booked to stay there before catching the ferry back to the North Island on Good Friday.  

Blenheim Bridges campground is pretty much as its name suggests. Campsite under the bridges. The facilities were ok, showers piping hot and all we needed. Rabbits and ducks roamed over the grass and the pitch itself was level. We used the camp kitchen to make a hot drink and ate our tea in Ismene, because as soon as the sun dropped the temperature dropped dramatically.  As soon as darkness fell it was bedtime... obviously!

Much love


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