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Published: December 13th 2017
Geo: -41.5116, 173.957
After a roughish night for David (too much coffee and tea for this usually-decaffeinated man?) we were up and at 'em by 6:15, and out the door at 7:15, sadly bidding adieu to our new adopted cousins Everard and Antonella.
We found the Ferry Terminal without difficulty, but then waited for about 2 hours to board. We were beginning to wonder. We were blessed to sight a new bird, though - a goldfinch, but completely different from the American type. Left by 10:30, with a full dramamine in David. Probably unnecessary as it wasn't all that bad.
We had the honor of being the absolute last car off - don't know how that happened. We drove the coastal road west to Havelock along the Queen Charlotte road - beautiful views, up and down, up and down. The skies were clear at last and we enjoyed the ride.
We drove through Havelock to Pelorus Bridge for a bit of a walk-around at another site for the Lord of the Rings movies - where the dwarfs and Hobbits floated wildly down the river in barrels. It's a good excuse for hikes. AND we found another bird - with olive back and blue wings, as yet unidentified.
Came back to Havelock to the Mussel Pot, renown for its mussels, and shared the platter-for-two so we had smoked, marinated, steamed on wine & herbs, a Thai chili and one cheese, oh yes, 6 battered ones, plus a chowder to start. Needed a considerable amt of dental floss after, but it was all yummy.
Arrived at kitchenette hotel in Blenheim (center of wine country!!) by 7:15 and David was quickly ensconced on the bed watching the All Blacks play Argentina (rugby) while I did laundry next door. A perfect combo - and, as yet, NZ's All Blacks are winning. It was important we weren't late, for we needed to catch the haka introduction. Sorry his video was too big to attach - check it out online.
A good sleep is needed tonight - preparing for maybe a visit to a winery for a tasting tomorrow and then off to the Kaikouri coast to spy some pelagic birds (skuas, terns, petrels, and hopefully albatrosses). Plus seals and possibly whales & dolphins offshore.
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