Our trip really started on Christmas Day, heading down to Wellington to spend the night closer to the ferry for our Boxing Day sailing which was the earliest one possible. Little did I know we would be getting there half an hour earlier than necessary on top of that!
No sleep = grumpy Lana.
Some people will just say sleep on the boat, yadayadayada - I don't sleep in weird places. So instead we turn to coffee to get us through the day - which you may have seen on my previous blog entry.
The sailing was calm and uneventful apart from the brief excitement of the captain announcing there were orcas near the ship. Alas I didn't see them but was cool to know they were there. Not sure if it was just for Christmas but all the staff were gathered at the end of the sailing wearing funny hats and bidding us farewell.
Out of Picton we go, off via Queen Charlotte Drive in hopes of the more scenic route providing photo opportunities. Problem is the time of the day leads to harsh lighting and not really the best for photos. Would be nice to spend some time in the sounds to get the nice morning and evening light sometime, maybe a future trip to be planned.
We stopped in Motueka for lunch and was mortified by the service of their local Subway - won't be going there again - but we did manage to have some fun down by the shore with some birds and a cool shipwreck. Again, terrible lighting but that's where black and white comes in handy!
We then reach our destination of Takaka (staying in Pohara). Our first day wasn't off to a great start as this accommodation was sorely lacking in wifi! In this day and age this is a must! Apartments on Abel - just spend a good few minutes trying to find the place on Google, must not be very popular.
Having time to kill before dinner and sunset, we search the small town for photo ops. We found a cute little lake called Lake Killarney which had ample bird life and sat and waited for our shot. Patience paid off as I finally got a Tui shot I like!
We finished off the day with ham & buns for dinner and a bit of left over ambrosia from Christmas that survived the trip then headed down to the water for our sunset shots. Always hard finding a good spot when you're not familiar with the area, where the sun is actually going to set, etc. Managed to find a cool rock in the water there that made the scene a bit more interesting but the sunset didn't do much for us this night.
That's all I remember from the day's events. If I remember something else I'll add it here later