Farewell to the South

Nicholas Quirke was not surprised to wake early, though his night in the top bunk of a bed in a dormitory had not resulted in any accidents despite there being no safety rail. He in fact found the experience strangely cool. He liked the look of the place but the fellow residents were uncommunicative, despite his efforts. They were also travelling with food to cook and were all enjoying toast and cereals at breakfast while he sipped his Green Tea. Perversely his photographs of the Pancake rocks were mostly out of focus  other than a picture from a distance. He was able however to catch some other impressive sights along the coastal path. He spent 30 minutes walking on the beach in anticipation of catching sight of the penguins whose feet were clearly impressed in the sand. As he continued to drive he found himself continually confounded by the endless and ever changing wonder of the scenery. He managed to take a wrong turn which took him some 40 miles out of his way, but as a result, stumbling upon The Lower Butler Ravine was divine compensation. Nicholas expected the drive to Picton, and the ferry  Wellington via Nelson, to be problem free, however he started to feel his annoyance at the lorry’s on the road rise as a they slowed progress considerably. He checked out the views from Hope Saddle to avoid spoiling his day with traffic issues. As a result of his self imposed delays he didn’t get to Nelson, where he had planned to spend some time and have lunch till 2.15 which meant he had only an hour to enjoy a sight and eat. He had sourced a vegan diner, East Street cafe, and ate a salad and treated himself to a splendid vegan cheesecake. He visited the Cathedral, left a couple of his Brothers business cards and returned to driving to Picton. He was inadvertently let into the working Port area and despite some cross looks was guided kindly to the proper location for driving on board. He was pleased to find that he could change into his All Stars which had dried after he’d stumbled into the river, twice, when he and Frederick had visited FanTail Falls. It was a spectacular Scenic exit from the South Island and he was amused to think of his other fellow traveller, Dan, who was given a lift from a guy who was convinced that any peaks with points, were hiding the work of Aztec Pyramids inside them. He felt obliged to take a photo. He failed to catch an image of an Albatross in flight and his attempts to photo the porpoises momentarily playing around the boat were also dismal failures. When night fell no one was allowed on deck so he sat and read ‘The Sparsholt Affair’ instead. Once docked it was straight to his hotel and to bed.


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