LIFES ONE LONG HOLIDAY - 2005 travel blog

Queen Charlottes Pass

Queen Charlottes Pass

Queen Charlottes Pass

Goodbye Picton and the South Island


Another glorious drive to Nelson (are you getting sick of hearing that yet?) We arrived on a Sat afternoon which coincided with the weekend market. We spent a couple hours browsing and eating at the market.

We had planned to stay in Nelson for the night and then drive to Picton the next morning to catch the 10:00am ferry to the North Island. But besides the market, Nelson didn't offer enough entertainment for us kids. So we decided to drive to Picton that afternoon.

This was a wise decision. It was only a 150K drive - but it was a Long and very Winding Road up and down a mountain. Took over 2 hours. Had we waited til the morning we probably would have missed the ferry!

This was a good move. Picton is a gorgeous town at the bottom of a mountain connected to the Sound that leads out to the Ocean that leads to the North Island. Yet another town we decided we could easily live. Checked into a campsite, did some laundry then, what do you know? That night was the final Lions test match against the All Blacks. So we obviously headed to a pub to watch the game. This time we were 2 of 3 Lions supporters in the place. But we made some fast friends, including Giant Loud Man and his Tiny Wife; Drunk Scottsman (the other Lions supporter - who later tried to get L to abandon me and go with him to another pub); Snapper (so called because he likes to take pictures), who was waiting for a call from his "little son-in-law." Turns out his daughter was a little person married to another little person. "Oh, of course!" And there was the sweet Grandpa in the red and black wool coat who kept telling me I was beautiful. Can't argue with that! Oh, and the Water Taxi guy. All locals and all lovely people.

Well, the Lions lost the final match - so they would leave the tournament 0 for 3. Oh well. At least they played better this time.

We stayed on after the game, the pub closed but we weren't ready to kill our buzzes yet. So we were directed to the bar down the street, Mike's Bar. Lo and behold, drunk Scottsman, Grandpa and Water Taxi guy were there as well!

Met some more locals there, 2 of whom had painted their faces white and black and wore all black - guess which team they supported. I started to do my version of the Huka (the Maori chant done before all the All Blacks rugby matches) - but they stopped me almost immediately, telling me women were not allowed to do the Huka. How sexist is that? Not sexist, just tradition. OK, I accepted that. Talked to them for quite a while and the woman gave me a blinky magnetic pin of the NZ flag. How sweet was that? Wore it proudly on my shirt the rest of the night.

At the same time, L had made friends as well and started to play pool with them. 2 very large Maori brothers who were so friendly as well. They even gave me money to play songs on the jukebox. They strategized their next shots in Maori so L couldn't understand what they were saying. Too bad it didn't work. They still lost! Hee hee.

We stumbled out of Mike's just after 2 am and ravaged. The only place opened for food was a small cafe only serving fried chicken and chips at that time of morning. Perfect. Except there was only 1 old man running the whole place which was full of other drunk idiots like us. So we had to wait a long time - in the cold. We finally got our food, stumbled back to the campsite and ate everything in one giant bite. Needless to say, we were not happy when we had to wake up 5 hours later to drive to the ferry...

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