Thursday, 4 June 2009

Queen's Birthday Long Weekend

So the weekend just past was the last long weekend here in New Zealand until, eh, October I think it is! Unlike the Northern Hemisphere we have Christmas to look forward to in the middle of winter. Here in New Zealand... zilch!

Anyway, I got the ferry over to Picton on Fri evening with a couple of friends I met on my Easter tramp. After the horrible storms that we'd been having recently the ferry crossing was surprisingly calm. I was much impressed :) On Sat morning, after brief visit to the great Picton Bakery to pick up some lunch we got the water taxi out to Punga Cove which is some way along on the Queen Charlotte Track. Our destination for that day was Portage, 23.5km somewhere in the distance. It wasn't the clearest brightest day but it didn't rain and considering the forecasts earlier in the week we were happy for that.
A quick break

The DOC time for that walk was 9 hrs which I was not prepared to accept. Kate and Megan spent the first part of the walk trying to persuade me that it would be better for myself if I accepted that it was going to take us that long to do the walk. I couldn't do that... no matter how hard I tried! And we didn't need to. Enough time for photo stops and breaks and we got to Portage in about 6.5 hrs.

After "The Kavanaghs" checked in to the wonderfully friendly Portage resort hotel there was time for some hot chocolate and Baileys and a photo or two before a visit to the hot pool to relax!
Hot Chocolate Time

This was the view from outside my room...
Blue Evening

The next morning we were not looking forward to the steep walk uphill on the road to get back on the track. As we were paying for breakfast a lift was offered to us to drive us up the road to the start of the track. Before the offer had even been completed Megan jumped in with "Yes Please!" We gave her lots of slagging for that... but she informed us that that was what we both really wanted so we should be grateful to her :)

Sunday was much much colder than Saturday but on the plus side it was beautifully clear and sunny so there's always a plus side :) I don't really know why but there was lots of laughter... and talk of food. The bit of hail that we did experience didn't last long and it wasn't long before we were in clear weather again.

My glowing jacket

The Blue Sounds

On reaching Anakiwa we waited for our taxi pickup (extra clothing layers were required for this as it was cold!). It was still lovely and sunny but weirdly once we turned in to Picton harbour I could see that the weather was not so nice... it was snowing! Back to the B&B, time for a shower and some sit down and then out for a bite to eat. We were all knackered though and I was asleep by 9pm... I tried but failed miserably (unlike the others) to keep reading past 9 but it just didn't work!

Monday was a lovely sunny day in Picton so we passed some time eating muffins and drinking coffee in Le Cafe before heading off to get the ferry. Apologies to Kate on the rhs of this photo... appears to be have been chopped but is showing nicely on flickr anyway!
Post Breakfast Snack

We were all smiles at the start of the sailing.. it was beautiful out there...
The End

About an hour in to the sailing though we hit the Straits. It wasn't nice. Time for the iPod to block out the sound of people barfing in to sick bags all around. But we were lucky and hey we got back to Wellington in one piece :)

All in all a very fun weekend with lots of laughter, discussion of food, photography, amazement over the fact that it hadn't rained on us and admiring of views.
Group Shot


Kathleen said...

looks like another fantastic trip, whats next then?? what you need to do is collect all these photo's and then make a scrapbook of them.Something to do in the winter!

eefa said...

Heading down to Christchurch next weekend (no tramping!) to visit a friend. Then this day week I'll be Te Urewear National Park about to start out on a 4 day tramp :) That could be it then though as I don't think I'll be allowed any more leave before I finish up :(