Published: February 16th 2012February 15th 2012
As I drove off towards Picton this morning, I was mad with myself. For two reasons – number 1, I left my second pair of sunglasses somewhere back in the hostel. Number 2, because I lent last night’s roomies my plug adapter and they made off with it this morning before I noticed. Both can be replaced, of course, but at cost – and given that I’m in desperate need of ANOTHER pair of flip flops, and insanely short of cash, I’m not amused. Then the third thing got me. When I drove in yesterday, the sun was bright and gleaming off the Sounds that I was driving through. I was going to stop to take photos but decided that I’d leave it to the morning to kill half an hour on my way to the ferry. Good plan, however the weather this morning was dreadful, making for less than pretty pictures. Third fail.
Optimistic me kicked in – let’s go to Picton, grab a new pair of sunnies (didn’t like the old pair anyway, I told myself), find the spare adapter I packed in the boot of the car (knowing I’d lose one on the way round), and I managed to grab a couple of photos of Picton marina yesterday, they’ll do as evidence I was there.
Sunnies purchased, I sat down for coffee and a cheese scone. Here comes fail 4. Cheese scone was OK but not as good as Mum’s, but the fail was that they didn’t bring the coffee until half an hour after the scone had been polished off, by which time I was gasping and running late for the ferry. Coffee downed, I ran back to the car to source the adapter to charge my phone on the ferry. Opened up bag in the boot and found the sunglasses I thought I’d left behind in the hostel. So now I’ve got two pairs, $30 lighter of pocket, and still don’t have any flip flops. GAH…
At the ferry point, and I’m taking the broad bean with me. It’s the first time I’ve driven onto a car ferry - how hard can it be though? Well it turns out it would have been easy, if it hadn’t been for the annual electrics inspection that had overrun on the ferry. Why would you do that in the middle of the day, I don’t know – however it meant that we were queued up for over 2 hours waiting to get on board. In the rain. Now I’m incredibly grumpy.
On board and it’s like a cross-Channel ferry – everything you need from a cinema, games room, bar, restaurant etc. Reclining seats, sofas etc. I tried to see out the journey on the deck, but the wind was blowing a gale and my hair started to resemble the Gibb brother with the squeaky voice in the Night Fever video…
A pod of dolphins swam in front of the bow out of the Sounds – must have been 10 or more of them ducking in and out of the water. Made for a great sight (especially as by this stage, I was tucked up in my recliner seat watching the action from the warmth of the cabins rather than the deck). It perked me up a little but I was still mardy – if only I didn’t have to drive the other end, I’d be sinking a bottle of wine by now…
I fell asleep, awkwardly, in the bar, like some kind of wino, waking up just as we were coming into Wellington. A dash outside to take a picture of the harbour and it was time to get the car. Not a case of last in first out here – last in means last out, so in front of me I had all the juggernauts, car transporters, and every other car, motorbike in Picton. Unbelievable.
Fortunately I found the hostel quickly – it’s a huge place, the biggest I’ve stayed in, with 500 beds. Back to being the top bunk again tonight sadly – fail 5. Had a chat with one of my roomies who thinks I’m the female equivalent of Jack Dee. Clearly the day’s events have taken their toll on me and my humour’s got darker with my mood… I took a walk around the harbourfront which was quirkly – history and modern architecture mixed together. Plenty of health freaks here too – runners, rowers, paddlers as far as the eye can see.
Wellington doesn’t feel like a capital city – more like a big harbour town with a few big buildings, but again set against the backdrop of stunning hills, like Christchurch, Dunedin, Queenstown etc before it. It’s only a flying visit however - I have 6 days in which to cover the whole of the North Island, starting now….the broad bean had better be up to the challenge!