We crossed into the South island today. We all piled onto the ferry
across from Wellington to Picton. The three hour trip ends up traveling
up through some of the most gorgeous scenery that I've ever seen.
The forest covered land juts up from the water in sections and looks
for all the world like fake green fur draped across a giant's hand.
It was only half-an-hour after I left the hostel that I realised
that 'd left my sleeping bag in my room - not to worry, I thought,
my roommate is also with the tour company, so we'll just ask them
to put it aside for the next bus to pick up for me - if only it
were so easy...
Picton itself is a small settlement with (according to my fellow
travelers) the best hostel in New Zealand within its boundaries.
The three of us, two passengers and Warren, our driver climbed aboard
our 40 seater bus and drove straight out to the Abel Tasmin National
park, stopping off briefly at Blenheim on the way. Oh, and we bullied
our bus driver to take us to a winery on the way to sample the white
wines that the area is famous for. Nadia and I bought a rather nice
bottle of Semillon to go with her mussels and my mushroom, cheese
and pasta dinner.
We stayed at a rather unimpressive farm backpackers in Marahau, right on the
edge of the national park.