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Adventures down under
13th Feb 2017
Sailing to Picton then on to Nelson

A wild and wet morning for a ferry ride!  We got up early to take the 9am sailing, check in at 8:10. It was very windy, and the board said moderate sea state with a one metre swell. We were in the premium lounge with a hot breakfast and comfy seats. Despite this being listed as one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world, we couldn't see much through the mist when we set sail. The crossing wasn't too bad, just a couple of minutes heavy swell, but the wind kept up right into Picton. The weather did improve, and we enjoyed the views as we sailed for about an hour through the Tory channel to dock at Picton. We had to drop our hire car at Wellington, and picked up a Toyota Highlander for the South Island (not as fuel efficient as the Corolla, but well equipped).  The sun came out in Picton and the temperature gradually improved as we drove along, reaching 24 degrees - quite an improvement on the cool and blustery Wellington morning  

The drive from Picton over the coast road was the most scenic so far!  Very winding, slow roads with lookout points giving amazing views over bays, sounds, hills and mountains. We stopped many times just to gaze (and take photos)!  We could look across a few hundred yards of water to see small villages nestling in areas of green grass just under the mountain slopes.  After the coast road, there is a long stretch driving through wooded mountains - not as winding or slow as the coast road through. Passing through Nelson was very slow, with long traffic queues, we were just into rush hour. We passed through Nelson into wine country and arrived at our next stop at 4:15. This is a lovely B&B on the Bronte peninsular, with a great view over the Waimea inlet to the distant mountains from our balcony. We have four nights here so it will give us a chance to relax. We did just that in the evening when we drove a short distance to Mapua for a really good dinner. Mapua is a very small town, with a good number of eating places on the wharf. We ate in a restaurant with a good view if the inlet through its windows. 

Next: Down time in Bronte
Previous: The Windy City

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Picton 2

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