Arise and pile into car. Park in town and walk the peninsula. See birds and seals and tramp through fields and over hills by the sea. Stop near the end for "world famous in New Zealand" seafood bbq. Pretty damn good. Wander back into town for ice cream and shopping. Drive to Donegal House Irish bar and gardens. Sip beer in the sunshine in typical Irish bar abroad style bar. Next up is the lavender farm. Can smell it from down the road. Stroll through fields of purple. Back to camp cicada for dinner and sleep.
Drive to Blenheim, or Blen-hole as I have also heard it affectionately called. Check into ridiculously overpriced motor park. First shower in 3 days. Aaaahh... Put our names down for wine tasting tour of Marlborough Region. Into the mini bus with two Americans, three Brits and a Japanese man and begin our delightful tour taking in 5 wineries and sampling many wines and several bubblies. Return tipsy and go to nearby German tavern for a pint of interesting looking pink fruit beer in sun drenched beer garden. Delightful. Return to camp to sit by the river near our tent contemplating with a beer. Sleep.
|Nom nom nom|
|Perfect place for contemplation|
Pack and drive to the Queen Charlotte sound. Absolutely beautiful. Set up camp on the shore of the sound and have a noodley lunch. Drive to the little village of Anikiwa and walk 4 hours along the Queen Charlotte track. Stunning views. Amazing place. Photos don't really do it justice. Return to camp tired and satisfied. Eat dinner and play Angry Birds by the sea. Sleep. Angrily awoken at some point by a seagull with a death wish standing in the middle of the camp site screeching. Contemplate shoe throwing. Too tired. Ignore and return to sleep.
|It looks better than this in real life I swear|
Back to Nelson early to much surprise and celebrating (I'm popular, what can I say?) Spend two days eating, beering, catching up with friends and enjoying the comforts of a real bed and indoor plumbing.
Pack car at 6am amid goodbyes and tears. Drive to Picton and ferry across to Wellington. Get settled into fanciest little hostel I ever did see. Fawn over hostel kittens. Regret immediately after as eyes stream and throat feels like it wants to escape my body. Walk along quirky, art scattered and very windy waterfront to Te Papa the national museum. It's free hurray! Spend several hours wandering around five floors of amazing New Zealand cultural, zoological and historical displays. Hands down best museum ever. Closing time comes they have to ask us to leave. Hostel, dinner, sleep.
|Te Papa awesomeness|
Awake and stroll through town stopping briefly to stock up on sushi rolls. Catch cable car to cable car museum and botanical gardens. Meander through gardens stopping at rose garden to eat sushi in the sunshine and a rare break from the wind. They don't call it windy Wellington for nothing. Catch shuttle to Zealandia nature reserve. Tramp through nature reserve for several hours looking out for native birds, lizards and insects. Return to hostel for big feed. Next on to the night market on Cuba street. Randomly bump into Dingle woman. Typical. No matter where you go you will meet someone you know. Havana bar for jazz and wine, then the Mighty Mighty for live music. Hostel, sleep.
Wow this adventure diary is never ending! Next part coming... whenever I get around to it. Peace out.