Picton and Wellington

February 2017

We rested at our accommodation that afternoon, and headed off toward Picton early the next day, but took our time, visiting Cable Bay, which is the South Island source of the cable link to the North Island, somewhere along the Kaikoura coast. It is just amazing what has been achieved with optical fibre cables laid across the sea, enabling all the communication we now take for granted. Of course in NZ they need to be at least 'two deep', as if one cable to the South Island goes that is a major disaster.
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Peloris Bridge is a place we recall from our last visit to this area in 1974, so enjoyed doing a couple of short hikes there to obtain photos of the river and the bridge.
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We had a memorable lunch at the Slip Bay Cafe in Havelock, the home of the NZ green-lipped muscles. I enjoyed muscle chowder, while Tim chose the pate.
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Then the scenic route to Picton via the Queen Charlotte Drive, with lots of look-outs and small hikes.
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Our Airbnb accommodation in Picton was a tiny Art Deco studio apartment, but it had all we needed. However, we sensibly decided that it was not 'self-catering' so after a good hike up the Tirohanga track to the look out (about an hour and a half return), we ate at the Sea Breeze Cafe, which had picturesque views of the harbour through the palms and reasonable food. Tim had pork belly (he really should eat more fish), while I enjoyed orange roughy. The plates were artistic, and we will now try serving beets in yellow capsicum - good colour combinations - and tasty.
Our reason for the overnight stay in Picton was to catch the 10.40 am ferry to Wellington the next day, where we had arranged to have dinner with our longest standing friend, Kim, at the James Cook Hotel. The ferry ride was fun, with lots of opportunities for photos of Queen Charlotte Sound and the entrance to Wellington Harbour.
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We had about 3 hours to revisit the harbour area of Wellington, and climb up to Victoria University - I completed a research masters there in the early part of 1970's and used to hike up, or catch the Cable Car, from my day-time job in Lambton Quay. The Cable Car and its stations are very photogenic.
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Our meal with Kim was fun, even though the food was a little strange, with weird and varied combinations of flavours.
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We then caught the ferry back to Picton early the following day - even more opportunities for photos - reunited with all our worldly goods and our rental car that had managed to park in the long term car park for free because the dispenser was 'out of order'. After stocking up at the New World, we headed toward our overnight accommodation at the Owen River Pub and Motel, owned by a Chinese couple, with a good Chinese meal option, which we had. I asked for extra vegies, and it was less greasy than we have experienced previously.
The motel unit had a view of the mountains and Owen River and was clean and comfortable.
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File translated from TEX by TTH, version 4.08.
On 19 Mar 2017, 21:23.