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Back to the Pacific Ocean

Sunday 25th October 2015

sunny 18 °C

We woke up to the most beautiful of the sun rising over the Sound and it felt as though this really set us up for the day.

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This morning we had to make the short drive back to Picton, but before that we had a lovely breakfast to eat cooked by Susie. We all sat down and ate together which was nice and although it is a bit of a cliche, it really did feel as though we were friends of the family. Once we had finished eating we loaded our things into the car and having said goodbye to Martin and Susie, made our way back to Linkwater to finalise things with Verena who was going to make my ring. We found her and we sorted out the size I needed and paid for the ring in cash as this seemed to be the simplest option. It looked like everyone was having a great time so it would have been good to stay longer but with a train to catch we needed to get on our way.

We returned to Queen Charlottes Drive and set off in the direction of Picton. As we were driving around the bay we parked up for a few minutes and couldn't help but look back at the house in its stunning position overlooking the Sound.

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We also stopped at Governor's Bay lookout and again at Shakespeare Bay, overlooking Waimahara Wharf, which is the lumber loading point for Picton. Once we got round the headland we could see that we were nearing Picton and so we stopped again to look at the view of the town and the harbour.

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As we had a little time to spare we drove briefly up to the bay on the other side of the town before returning and parking up so that we could go and grab a coffee. We then made our way back to the ferry terminal in order to return the hire car.

Unfortunately Nigel had some hassle and was charged an extra $80 for allegedly having the car for longer than the five days we had booked it for (which we hadn't) and for picking it up from the wharf rather than the town, despite this being where our voucher had told us to collect it. As we had the train to catch we didn't have time to argue the point but agreed that we would query this once we had the time. We arrived at the station at the agreed check in time and collected our tickets, got our rucksacks put in the luggage compartment and then found our seats. We had rung up a few day earlier to register our seating preference and although we hadn't been able to get ones near the open observation car we were on the side of the train we had requested. We then settled down to enjoy the journey. Once out of Picton the train line ran next to or near the road we had driven along a few days earlier on our way to the Abel Tasman. The main difference was that this time we weren't able to stop and buy any wine!

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Once we had passed through the Marlborough wine region we started to climb slowly as we travelled through some of the higher valleys in the region. Vineyards gave way to fields of sheep and then to the shores of Lake Grassmere which has been adapted to make it suitable for the production of salt.

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Once we had crossed the Waima River the railway line ran close to the Pacific Ocean sometimes with the state highway in between and at other times we were travelling right next to the beach. We also crossed the Clarence River, with its wide gravel bed.

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After about two and a half hours we arrived in the town of Kaikoura. The station was a bit of a walk from our accommodation (with all of our luggage) and we had already made arrangements to be picked up by the shuttle service that operates in the town. A short journey bought us to our apartment which was very well fitted out but the dull drizzly weather didn't do anything to lift our mood and neither did the problems that we then had connecting to the wifi. This was something that shouldn't be that important, but ends up being so because it causes problems with trying to confirm bookings and arranging excursions, not to mention the difficulties it causes in trying to keep in contact with family and friends. Nigel went off for a bit of an explore and bought some milk to top up our provisions. By the time we had settled in it was gone 8pm and so we really did not fancy making the twenty minute walk back into town in the rain and so we made ourselves a light supper out of some of the supplies we had and relaxed for the rest of the evening.

Posted by Gill's Travels 01:15 Archived in New Zealand Tagged trains ocean new_zealand picton

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