Just spent some time at one of the most beautiful locations in the World. It takes more than thirty hours to get there from Europe. I enjoyed New Zealand very much. But as a team of travelers we f….d it up. The post is on goods and bads of a New Zealand trip. A subjective one. If you travel there, do not repeat mistakes we made.
NEW ZEALAND DIARIES. PART THREE
A DAY LOST
On Wednesday directly after breakfast we hit the road. This should be the day as we cross to the Southern Island. The crossing was at four pm. As we departed, and first time stopped at a view-point to make some pictures I did not give it much thought. For around two or two and half hours we drove through beautiful locations stopping yet twice. Once to photograph sheep on the field and the other time for coffee. I think the small coffee shop and a small camping field was run by a Maori woman. The coffee shop was very colourful. I took some pictures to remember. My coffee was delicious. Yet again I took a ‘machiacino’ – coffee with chocolate and milk. Rested and in the good mood got into the van.
Somewhere in the Wanganui National Park. A beautiful place. Either stay for a day, or skip. Only window sightseeing – not a good idea
As we all were inside we realised that we are not going forward, but we head back. ‘We had plenty of time, so I took a side road in a scenic valley. We now come back to Wanganui to take the road to Wellington’ we heard. My good mood suddenly disappeared.
It took us altogether yet around three and half hours to get to the capital city. In aftermath, altogether five or six hours in the van, with three short breaks for photos and coffee. As we got to Wellington, we had an hour and a half before check in and boarding time onto the ferry. The lady at the check-in proposed us that we take an earlier ferry. But, we had to tank diesel before we returned our van to the operator. As well as to repack our main luggage to somehow fit the camping equipment we had with us (loose in the trunk) into it. Only hand luggage was allowed on board. To at least see Wellington, we made a fifteen minute round. Yet we had to wait another half hour or so in the ferry departure lounge till the boarding time.
This was the first time I had second thoughts about our planning. Yesterday most of us spent almost the whole day in the van. Yes indeed, the roads were the scenic ones. But this was our fourth day in New Zealand. Most of the roads we took were scenic ones. Stopping at various view or road overhaul points to make beautiful photos rarely works. There are usually bushes in the forefront that hinder a clean shot. In aftermath, during our two weeks journey we stopped only at a few view points, where the view was truly clean. Three weeks before we had the same problem in Norway. Beautiful views seen through the window, but rarely an occasion to make a photo at a truly photogenic site. Taking yet another scenic road in the morning there and back we lost four hours of our time. Practically we had no time to walk the streets of Wellington, not to mention to grab a bite. We had only time to grab some sandwiches in the ferry departure lounge. I was disappointed, but it was not up to me to decide.
THE SEAFOOD. DELICIOUS
No to lose the day, the most of the ferry crossing I spent moving from one deck to another to contemplate the views. Most of our journey was through mountainous fjords. The sky was covered with clouds. I made many photos. But altogether it was not a good time to make fine photographs. Just some to remember the trip. The ferry crossing took us three hours. As we arrived at Picton we had to pick up yet another rental van. We all were hungry. All day was on snacks. Already the second in the row. But it was late, around eight or nine pm. Yet another time we had to realise that kitchens close early in New Zealand.
Finally we found a restaurant. The day ended with a delicious supper. I took the domestic mussels. New Zealand is known for its sea food. Yet another speciality from my bucket list. My day was rescued.
Yet again we got into the van. And yet again on this day a communique: ’till we reach our hotel in Richmond, it will take us two maybe two and a half hour.’ It was not only me in the van, who had a negative reaction. To be frank, I was angry. More than half a day lost on a car ride and waiting, and yet two hours drive.
Now in a hotel in Richmond, after two or three hours exhausting car trip. I am tired. The loud music in the car caused me a headache. Even not considering the loud jokes on to how our two (sick) fellows must not fall asleep and must be woke up. ‘Sleeping you will be at home’ we have heard. I think I still slept for an hour or so. As we arrived it was shortly after midnight. I was too exhausted and disappointed over the day to care. My stomach is still full with the late supper. I should decide: ‘sip of wine or painkillers’. I feel so badly, I will not fall asleep.
A glass or two of red wine made my muscles ease. I am dehydrated. Drink one glass of water after another. Yet I am realising I am getting sick, too. Probably I caught the virus from my two sick fellows. All time we spend together in the van and later in the same apartment. Or is it lack of sleep?
DAY 4 ROUTE
Day 4 route included a three-hour ferry crossing from Wellington (Northern Island) to Picton (Southern Island). With no breaks it was still twelve hours en route. Added to eight hours for most of us on the day before, wrongly planned in aftermath. Even if the next day was planned as a ‘physical’ one. Of less than 3000 km in original planning, during the first four days we did theoretically more than a half. Four hundred km daily on average.
We already know that because of a storm hitting West Coast and the South we have to skip our plans for Thursday. Our plans for tomorrow / today (it is 2 am) will depend on the weather. We know we can sleep longer in the morning. A relief. Some vitamin C and a painkiller should be enough … I hate to be sick while travelling …
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