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In the absence of current travel options, this is a rework of our 2014 trip Down Under, previously posted on a private blog site.
+15 and cloudy in the morning in Picton and +26 and sunny in the afternoon in Greytown.
We are transitioning from the Mainland (South island) back to the North Island today.
Well, the day has finally come to stop the roving life and settle down with our friends, M and P in the Wairarapa area for the Christmas Season. Breakfast in Picton was a mix of good Muesli and great coffee. A bit of shopping for last minute souvies and it was back to the motel to pack up.
Our host shuttled us down to the ferry terminal for the 10:55 Interislander, which surprisingly left at 10:50 AM. An uneventful crossing on a placid sea, down the Marlborough Sound to Cook Strait. As we went further North, the clouds gave way to brief sunny periods and then full sun.
At the mouth of the Sound, you could see the two currents mixing (blue/white/turquoise). The sea crossing was calm, with no seasickness alerts and by the time we got to Wellington, traditionally a cool, cloudy, rainy city, it was still a bit cloudy, but definitely not cool. I enjoyed some time on the outdoor decks, taking photos and we both enjoyed Frank’s Damn Tasty Ginger Beer, an NZ staple.
M and P picked us up at the terminal and we promptly went through two roadside breath checks (’tis the Christmas season, after all). Here you do not blow in the breathalyzer (Allan slowly learned this in 2012), you count. First stop was count to 10 and 2nd was count to 5. I joked with P that if there was a 3rd stop, they would likely ask you to add 5 and 10 and get the right answer.
Off to Petone for coffee and cruising the Christmas shops, picking up food and refreshments for our stay. A lot of fabulous specialty shops (including the colourful pet food shop display) and true NZ craft shops and then we set off for Greytown.
Shortly after arriving, I helped P deliver one last Christmas tree and we returned just in time for supper. Tonight, Monica made Mousaka and Greek Salad. Fabulous. Just about dusk, it was time to herd the chooks (chickens) into the chook house for the night and then more refreshment and conversation. The conversation flowed as did the wine, with Christmas carols in the background. Combined with all the decorations, it is starting to feel and look a lot like Christmas. Hey, isn’t there a song about that?