Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Feb 22nd report other than Earthquake.

We got off early from Blenheim and arrived at Picton by 9.45 for a 12.10 checkin time for a 1.10 ferry. Obviously we had time to spare, but our look around Picton was not on as it was seriously wet. The options were either the Aquarium or a scenic drive around the Queen Charlotte Sound. (the other side to last night) With that much time on our hands we chose the scenic drive. We managed to take a few shots of the earlier ferry and some secret bay scenes as well as a river of tree ferns tumbling down the hillside. After about half an hour or so the road turned to gravel and we considered turning round, but no, we had plenty of time and surely by now we were in a position where it would be closer to go on than turn back. After another hour or so we were still on gravel (rally style driving by now) up hill and down dale, across bays and up into the hills again. Panic started to set in….. it was way past the point of turning back and we had no idea where we were as we had not come across any of the towns marked on our rather pathetic map. We had just an hour to travel on… to goodness knows where…. before we could find the Picton to Blenheim road again.  At last we found a village and it was the first of five that we should have passed through. We had 25 minutes left and now at least had tarmac and a white line. Blindly we sped on (140 km at times….. 80 limit roads) along an unknown/unmapped road when at last we met the B to P road. It was 18 km to Picton and we had 20 minutes to beat the 12.10 deadline.  We got to the check in gate at 12. 18, but were amongst a good sized queue of other ferry vehicles and at last I could relax. It was at this time that we took the picture of “Little Miss Lucy” Campervan as mentioned in the previous posting. On the deck of the ferry we were parked so closely that it was difficult to open the doors. Between news bulletins I got out on deck and took some shots of us leaving the Sound and arriving at Wellington. (at the same time as a plane came in).  We drove to Pete’s at Paraparaumu and settled down for a nice glass of wine and a meal out.  In the morning we all went for a walk along the beach with the dogs, paddled in the waves and then returned to watch the news again. Current update 75 dead and 300 missing. ChCh citizens being advised not to flush their toilets…….
Photos here.

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