What a travel day. We got up at 7. We got onto the boat at 10.30 and you have to be there then at 9.45 and it is an hours drive. It is a great way to go though. You book on line > You then receive a TXT/SMS with your code. At the ticket office you give them the code from your mobile and you receive your paperwork and board. The crossing takes approximately 3 hours. The last hour, in the Sounds, is really very very pretty. SO was very busy with the camera. He mentioned something about already having made 1,200 pictures and we still have almost 4 weeks to go!
From Picton we drove straight to Westport through Marlborough winecountry and the Buller Gorge. Now I had been through the Gorge before with my friend S, about 12 years ago. In my memory it was a lot shorter and we drove it at low speed then as my car was ready to collapse. It is amazing what 12 years can do with your memory! But what is really unusual about the gorge is that you are really really in the middle of nowhere and all of a sudden there is; a traffic light!. So there you are in said middle of nowhere waiting for a red light on solar energy!. It does become a little less weird once you realise that State highway 6 has a few one way bridges in the Gorge and around mountains. Most of them are fine but a few go around the bend and another bend. You know the type where you really can’t see the oncoming traffic. This is the solution to avoid a few head on collisions It works but it is fun.
We found our B&B and had something to eat in the only cafe in the village before it closed. The village, just outside Westport) is 3 houses and a tavern. We walked back over the beach admiring all the stars. We are in bed now. It is kinda weird though. We are on what feels as the edge of the civilized world, with high speed wifi, but no mobile connection! How wonderful and weird. We are going to sleep and be tourists again tomorrow.