Sailing away to the South



This a.m. it was raining in Wellington and awoke to a sound akin to blue whales mating because the hotel is busy retrofitting for earthquakes and the machinery used was, well, noisy. So up we jumped and went out to hunt down some food and landed up in a french cafe and spoke some french and ate quiche and salad with a flat white for breakfast. And we bought some fabulous macaroons for takeaway which we had later with hot tea in the lobby of our hotel before heading to the wharf to catch the InterIslander ferry and that’s where I am now composing my blog…in the upgraded lounge, sipping wine and looking out at the sea and a some land approaching. The ride takes about 3.5 hours and we are comfortable as can be having just eaten lasagne and curried chicken with rice for lunch.

Editor’s note: the picture on top of this blog was made possible by a man who worked for the department store. We came across some of these flowers and I said, “Photo op, Ray”. Ray said, “Here, I’ll take a picture of you then”. At which point the nice man said, “Wait, let me arrange these flowers for you”. And he went about bringing along several more big flowers and arranging them into what you see. The flowers will be placed in the big windows of the department store but for that bit of time they served as my own personal backdrop thanks to Fred. (I made up his name.)
Here’s the North Island in retreat as we head south.

 
Here’s me and the South Island in view. A bit windy, shall we say?

We had a few hours to kill so we road on a trolley up a high hill just to see what was up. While up there we watched a movie or two because it started raining pretty good so into the museum we ducked. Seems in Wellington, there are over 400 private lifts from various streets to houses and that is the only way owners can access their property. Does steep mean anything to you? Very creative problem solving. That is also testament to the steep terrain surrounding the harbor.

 
A bit like San Francisco. The vibe was more like Portland.

But I digress.
Entering Marlborough Sound. Beautiful.
While checking into the Harbour View Motel, the owners of the motel said, “Quickly. Come. We’ve something to show you”. And this picture was taken from the balcony of their home. A Holland American ship just leaving. Quite a nice view. And so typical of the NZers. They are so kind and thoughtful. To invite us into their home for a peak of a ship leaving the harbour…priceless.

And so is this pic of the Rayman from our balcony.

 

 
Our room was fabulous. We got an end unit so we had windows all around and we slept like babies.

Today we prepare ourselves for a wine tour for the most famous wineries for white wines on the South Island. Ray is VERY excited. So am I because I don’t have to be designated driver and because I don’t have to ride a bike in the impending rain…it’s cloudy again.

We ate breakfast at Gusto Cafe. Here’s a picture of my breakfast along with a flat white, our favorite coffee drink that I’ve been sputtering about all this time.
Oh, and we met a newly graduated mechanical engineer from Oklahoma in front of the library and he confirmed to us that we can get free wi-fi in libraries and Mobile gas stations throughout NZ. Who knew? We have been having a bit of a problem finding free wi-fi but now our problem is solved!!

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