Thursday, March 20
Previous post Waitomo caves, Glow worms, Tongariro National park, Whakapapa ski hill
Since we didn’t have to leave till 8 am AND the hostel provided a really nice towel I enjoyed a leisurely morning shower. Ahhh, it’s wonderful how the little things make me happy 🙂 I even boiled some eggs and Simon did his famous poached eggs.
We headed south and the first stop was the village of Ohaukune which means carrot, therefore there is a large carrot statue which, of course, created a great place for more silly photos.
Next stop was the gumboot throwing capital, Taihepe where Simon borrowed a pair from the visitor’s centre and we held our own contest. Gilles was the champion and threw his gumboot about 20 metres.
The lunch stop was in town with outlet stores so Sue and I went shopping. I don’t know what the big deal is with these Katmandu stores. At 70% off their prices are almost reasonable. There were a couple of places selling merino, alpaca and possum wool garments. I almost bought a sweater and socks but …. just don’t feel like carrying them. So I got a $5 t-shirt as I’ve lost one and it will be nice to have something new to wear. Sue got a pair of light pants. Such big shoppers we are. We figured Subway would be a quick place to get a sandwich. Not this one. It was rocket science. They were out of cookies so I wanted to substitute chips for one in the meal deal. The girl just couldn’t figure that out without charging me an extra $2. For about 7 chips? I don’t think so. Oh well. I didn’t need them anyway 🙂
After checking into the Nomads hostel in Wellington, Sue and I set out exploring and found a library with wifi. Awesome. We sent some quick messages, did a hasty blog post update and we walked to the harbour and checked out the world’s windiest city. The last dinner with this group was fun with Ryan and Simon entertaining us by doing the Haka. Not bad for a Canadian, eh Ryan?!
Friday, March 21
The ferry crossing was beautiful and we were blessed with gorgeous weather for it. The views of the Malborough sounds as we approached Picton were spectacular. After claiming our bags we set out to find lunch. Most stopped at the Dutch bakery. I should have. The shop claimed to have the best fish and chips for miles. I got fish and salad. The fish was greasy and not very good but I was hungry so just ate it.
The very windy road to Marahau was incredibly scenic with the mountains off in the distance getting closer and closer. Upon arrival we climbed into the water taxi and our skipper towed us to the ocean with a tractor. Since it was low tide he drove it quite far out before getting off and actually launching the boat. I jokingly asked him if the tractor tires were full of air so it would float when the tide came in. Sure, but he was hoping someone would come and get it first. Interesting
We were pounded about for a while in the surf and dropped off at our home for the night, the floating Backpackers at Anchorage. Good thing we didn’t bring much as there’s certainly not much room. Our beds were below deck and we were crammed pretty tight. It actually ended up being quite cozy and the gentle rocking of the boat made for a great sleep.
Some went swimming and jumping off the boat and I would have loved to join them but by the then my digestive system was protesting the fish in no uncertain terms. I even skipped dinner (unheard of for me) and just went to lie down and hope it went away.