Nelson, Day 1

We woke up at around 6am, even before our 6:30 alarm. Sue made sandwiches and got busy packing. Rudy turned over a few more times in bed and then doddled around until it was time to leave. We were supposed to be at the ferry terminal at 8 o’clock, an hour before departure. We did that. And drove onto the ferry and had nearly front-row seats in the ferry before it dutifully departed at 9 o’clock. Sue read and played scrabble for the 3.5 hour ride. I snoozed a bit more and then listened to some itunes and walked around the boat a bit. We’d been warned about how little fun it is to be on the open seas in rough weather, but today’s crossing was smooth as glass.

We drove off the ferry into Picton, the first town on the South Island right at 12:30. From there it was a pleasant (although much to ‘curvy’ for Sue over the mountain pass) 2-hour drive to Nelson. We found our AirBnB place no problem. The sun was shining and it was quite warm — too warm for jeans. We introduced ourselves to Jon and Sarah, our hosts for the next 2 nights, and checked in.

Sue and I went for a walk around the town centre for at least an hour, checking out possible restaurants for tonight’s supper. We eventually found our way back home and got into the car and drove up to the Waahi Taakaro Golf Course, about 10-15 minutes drive from our place. It was time for ‘twilight’ golf, so for $18 each Sue and I golfed a very pleasant 9 holes. Lots of elevations and much lusher and greener than any of the previous golf courses. Of course, you can’t have everything — so we had some aggravations from some tiny sand flies on the course — we’d been warned to expect them on the south island, but these buggers weren’t too bad. It was quite a warm afternoon so we were thankful for the big shady trees that lined the fairways — and made it manageable to golf here.

After golf we drove back to our place and had a bit of a refresher. After showers we headed back into town and then down to the waterfront to the Boat Shed Cafe, a place our host Jon had recommended. We were very luck to get a table without reservations. We ordered the green-lipped mussels (Nelson is famous for these) and Salmon Carpaccio. A fine ‘New Zealand’ taste experience.

After dinner we drove back home and settled into our (warm) room, with a bit of ‘internetting’ and taking care of business, etc, before calling it a night.