Soundtrack: Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran
Google Fit stats:
- Activity: 2 hours 2 minutes
- Distance: 6.7 km
- Calories: 1,083
- Steps: 10,369
Up early (06:15am!) after another poor night’s sleep for SWMBO. Then we check out and walk across to the I Site for the bus. Our mild paranoia about checkout times and the distance to the I Site means we’ve a half hour standing around waiting for the bus to arrive. Still, better than being late and missing the bus – it’s the connection to the ferry and I think there are only two of those every day.
Nice wee statue of Burt in The World’s Fastest Indian
Me and Burt
The bus took us to Bluff but arrived a little early so the driver took us all to Stirling Point. This is a famous landmark (I think...) — it’s the start (or end) of State Highway 1, it show a signpost to other places in the world, and it has one half of the anchor chains anchoring New Zealand. A surprising stop. We took photos. We always take photos.
Stirling Point, Bluff
SWMBO and the signpost
The famous (apparently) signpost
We dandered down to the anchor chain.
SWMBO and the anchor chain
There’s a story about the chain and what it means. It comes later. How’s that for some fancy foreshadowing?
We were still early, but the bus took us to the boat terminal and we waited there. Then we got on the boat. There were quite a few folks waiting so I asked what the secret was to getting a seat near the back with a window and was told ‘Just wait over there…’ and she was right – a few minutes after that they started boarding the boat and we were among the first on.
And we got a window seat. This was important because the sea was getting a bit rough. The ferry is a catamaran, and they say that’s so it’s more stable in the rough weather… It didn’t seem especially rough today but it wasn’t exactly calm either. And we’re usually OK on boats as long as we can see the horizon. (Someone told me you get nausea on boats because of the mismatch between what your eyes tell you and what your ears/balance tells you. If you can see the horizon, your eyes then realize the foreground of the boat really is swinging wildly and your ears are right. I don’t know how true this is but it makes sense to me.)
The ferry. It only seems still because it’s a photo.
So we try to keep an eye on the horizon if the boat is bouncing around, and once we left the harbour there was plenty of that. A few people were sick on the boat, and quite a few more looked like they weren’t far away from it. We just ignored them and kept watching the horizon.
One of the workers said the trip was ‘gentle’. I would not want to be on that crossing on a non-gentle day! The trip took an hour and after 45 minutes I just wanted it to be over.
When we docked at Halfmoon Bay, we were met immediately by Pip from the Bay Motel. Our cases were the first off the boat too, so we waited while the other passengers arrived and got their luggage. Then we were driven to the motel and shown our room. Our lovely, toasty-warm room. Nice wireless internet access too – Pip said the connection was flaky and to lower our expectations but so far it has been the fastest, most reliable connection we’ve had in New Zealand.
We gathered ourselves and headed out, reluctant to trade the cosy room for the windy and occasionally rainy outdoors.
SWMBO, ready for the weather
Had lunch at the Kai Kart. This is basically a truck that hasn’t moved in a while, and it has the reputation for the best fish and chips in New Zealand. The Kart is packed – the front of it has a take away service, then there’s the cooking area, and the back has a dining area. All in one Kart!
SWMBO in the dining area of the Kai Kart
Our view from our side of the dining area of the Kai Kart
It had been a long time since breakfast at 6am, so I was grateful for the huge portion of blue cod and chips. I don’t know if they’re the best fish and chips in all of New Zealand – we were only there 3 weeks – but they were certainly the best fish and chips I had there.
Then we bought some milk (for tea) and some TimTams(!) in the local store and headed back to the room for a nap. I was tired and I’m sure SWMBO was knackered.
When we got there SWMBO had an email to phone Phillip about our Kiwi trip. She called and he said it was uncertain at the minute because of the weather, but she should phone again at 7pm to find out if it was on or off. Hrmm…
We were visited by some kaka parrots. They happily scuttered about on the roof and the outside railings. I think they were just saying ‘Hi’.
A kaka parrot came by to visit
The nap, however, was great.
Then we went out for dinner. If it sounds like we did little else except eat and sleep, well, today that mightn’t be far from the truth. We had booked a table at the hotel for 5:30pm. It was OK. I had Thai green chicken curry. Lunch at the Kai Kart was bigger, better and cheaper.
We came back and phoned Phillip about our Kiwi trip tonight. Bad news. Cancelled because of bad weather. We may get to go tomorrow night though, if the weather improves. SWMBO is quite disappointed but putting a brave face on it. I know she'd love to see a wild kiwi.
We waited for the rain to die down a bit before heading it for a drink or two. Then we gave up waiting because it seemed like the rain was on for the night, so we got wet on the 7 minute walk down the hill. Had a couple of drinks, watched some rugby (Canterbury won), then got wet again on the 7 minute walk back to the room.
It doesn't rain all the time here, just when we're out apparently.
But we’re back now. Dry. Warm. Cosy.