Bright and sunny start when we left the hotel to drive to the ferry terminal. Dropped the hire car off – registration KTQ39, so of course was Katie Q – and rather sad to see her go. Been our trusty steed for the whole of our North Island trip. Not too sorry to say goodbye to Wellington or the hotel either, to be honest.
Checked in without fuss at the ferry terminal and, because we’d had a free upgrade via Trailfinders, we were able to get into the Premium Plus Lounge. This offered a complimentary cooked breakfast and a bit more room to spread around. It is a huge ship, with loads of both passengers and vehicles, with some great scenery until the clouds started rolling in:
We got to Picton in the South Island about three and a half hours later after a very smooth sailing, but the cloud cover was now complete. Chillyish, grey and misty.
Picked up the South Island hire car – yet another silver Corolla! – and headed on our way to Nelson, about 2 hours to the west. Would have been better if it wasn’t so cloudy/wet….. Some potentially spectacular scenery hidden in the clouds. Quite a lot of rain on the way and some very twisty sections. However, once we descended off the range, the weather improved markedly and by the time we got to our B&B, Cambria House in Nelson, it was dry and around 18 degrees.
Welcomed by our hostess, Karel, and settled in – we are here for four nights.
Wandered down town to find our bearings with the vague intention of booking a restaurant, walking back to the B&B, then going out again. Resolve failed us here – we had a drink at an Italian restaurant and then just decided to stay there for a meal! Very nice it was too, in an almost European café style ambience – we were actually able to sit outside.
We have also booked a table at one of the fine dining restaurants recommended by Karel for tomorrow evening.
I wanted to go on a wine tour, as this is one of the premier wine producing areas of New Zealand, but Jean has had enough of those, so I booked one for myself tomorrow. Jean is just planning to mooch around Nelson, which, to be fair, looks a really great small city to mooch around. I like this place.
Much more to come tomorrow, methinks.