Day 10 Travel Notes
The weather in Wellington was much better this morning and the ferry was running again. We were told a total of 9 crossings were canceled the previous day. Our sailing, on the ferry Arahura (Maori for Pathway to Dawn), was about 1 hour late but went smoothly. As soon as we got out of Wellington Harbor the skies started to brighten and when we reached the south island we had full sunshine. Because it was already after noon and we had around 300 km to drive before evening, we immediately headed out for Hamner Springs. The drive was beautiful, the first part along the Pacific coast and the later (on highway #70) through the mountains. We stopped at the Ohau seal colony for a look at the many seals swiming and basking on the rocks. On the mountain leg of the trip we had to stop and wait for a herd of sheep on the road which was just like a scene from a movie.
We reached our destination, The Braemar Lodge, around 5:30 pm. It is located on a hillside with a beautiful view of mountain and the town of Hamner Springs across the valley. We got cleaned up and went down to meet the other guests. There were two other couples there, both from the UK, one couple lived in London for northern hemisphere summer and New Zealand in southern summer - sounded like a good idea to me. We had drinks on the patio and then a very nice dinner. This was the first time I can remember having a fish called Ling which was excellent! I will definitely try it again if the opportunity arises. Later we sat out on the patio again for coffee and after-dinner drinks. George, a Scotsman (of the London/NZ couple), and I ended staying up late - drinking, talking and looking at the spectacular southern sky. In fact this was the best evening for stargazing of the whole trip.