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  • Writer's pictureClaire

28/03/24 Moetuka to Picton via Nelson

We were really pleased we moved the car up into the sheltered spot last night because the wind was pretty blustery and we were afforded some shelter from it. Mildred was most happy I think her knees must have been freezing!! A quick shower and brew before heading off, we were on the road by 0900 our first destination being Nelson. We found it to be somewhat confusing, the streets were well hidden, but once we’d eventually located some we were able to have a coffee.  Another two storey town and located on side streets, with no clear instruction as to where to find anything. Our main reason for stopping there was to stock up on food for the Easter weekend as we’d been told that the shops wouldn’t be open on Good Friday or Easter Sunday.  

On our way into Nelson,  we spotted a large supermarket, and i mean huge supermarket, but do you think we could locate it again after we’d been driving around looking for the centre of town? Could we heck! Finally after more driving around we found it and went to fill a trolley with food.  It was the. I remembered we only had a small fridge in the car, and we weren’t going to fit all we needed in it . Working out that we could shop on Saturday should we need to we got the most of the stuff we wanted and jammed it in the fridge and booot space.  

Getting back out of Nelson was as confusing as getting in to it! But the hero that is Simon managed it eventually and we were back on the right track again. 

Nelson, is renowned for being a bit of a magnet for creative people. It could be the warm sunny climate, long golden beaches, massive forests and rugged mountains, I mean absolutely everything about that would have me there in a heartbeat! We had seen an interesting looking glass blowing place, with a fabulous glass sculpture hanging outside the doorway, i was too scared to go in, I am accident prone at the best of times, and i was sure it was going to be one of those you break it you pay for it establishments. It is a place that has the largest number of working artists and galleries in New Zealand, so there must be something in the water there. To be fair it is an attractive place, and also bigger than you'd think, and not only is it famous for its art, wine, and beaches, their scallops are apparently legendary. Since we couldnt find our way to the supermarket, the chances of us finding any scallops was looking highly unlikely, and we also had places to be.

Havelock was a little place but was pushing green shelled mussels for all it was worth, I tried to tempt Si to pull over and get some but we were most definitely out of fridge space!! From Havelock we drove over another white knuckle pass in Hira which was also subjected to low lying cloud. Deep deep joy (that was sarcasm incase you missed it) Managed to get some more video of it so you can all congratulate me on my bravery when we get home!  

We could have taken the scenic route to Picton but opted against it as we wanted to get there and get set up because of the early ferry in the morning. Nevertheless we did end up stopping off in Blenheim, we needed to fuel up and we remembered the fuel was a bit more expensive near the port. We were also ready for a toilet stop. The garage was simple enough to locate, the toilets, not so much!! Eventually we found some in a local park… with some assistance from Adam Apple Maps. They were being fixed and currently out of use. The very helpful plumber promised to get one working within two minutes for us. To give him his credit, he was true to his word and only slightly longer than two minutes but hey we could have a wee! While waiting we had a rumble around the park, there were fruit trees of all descriptions, some under ripe lemons loads of apples and it was just immaculately kept. I may have borrowed an unripe lemon from the tree… Si didn't want an Easter egg, I thought it was a fabulous little present, I could have passed it off as a lime if he hadn't seen the tree with its lovely ripe lemons at the very top.

Our base for the night was just a five minute drive from the ferry terminal, in Picton. The lady on the reception was lovely, and we chatted for quite a while during the check in process, mainly about the youths of today , and how glad we were that we got into mischief before internet really took off!! Our spot was quite close to the amenities which I was grateful for and the site itself didn’t seem to be too bad.  As soon as we arrived we put the bed up, then went to the communal kitchen to prep some tea. It was heaving, the busiest one we’ve encountered I think.  The best bit was the kids were all doing their bit in the meal making process. One was chopping carrots, another onions, another cucumber another frying off mince. We were really impressed! That was untill they changed their minds about eating outside and started dragging tables across the kitchen floor so they could all sit together.  There were 5 separate families and they just took over the space. That was our cue to leave!! Too peopley!! We showered early and as soon as it got dark hit the sack, a very early start in the morning for the ferry, alarm set for 0400 hrs, a ridiculous time of NIGHT that will ensure a very grumpy Clairey the morning!! 

Much love

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