Day 1/2 ---The Journey
Our AirNZ flight (NZ1) was airborne at 4.10 pm.We'd splashed out again on BusinessPremier seats and had elected to fly all the way with AirNZ inspite of the transit in LA.Having sampled BA's business class to Toronto last August we decided that AirNZ has much the superior product.We both find the seats comfortable and when converted into beds we sleep well for several hours on both sectors of the flight.They supply decent mattresses and two good size pillows plus a light duvet.The movie selection is good and easy to navigate and the food is pretty good for airline food with four selections for main course.
We landed pretty much on time,around 7.30 am. but had to wait a while for our bags to appear on the belt.Then it was through bio security for boot inspection--all ok there as I had scrubbed them really well.Our connection time to Christchurch was tight and we were too late for bag drop so had to trundle across to the domestic terminal as fast as possible.Got there just as boarding started, phew!
Once in Christchurch,we phoned Apex and were soon in their van and then at their nearby depot.
Paperwork was quick and efficient and we were then off in our red Corolla.Our journey to Blenheim was pretty uneventful.We set off at 11.30,stopped for lunch at a roadside cafe somewhere,where we had cups of tea and hot Satay chicken rolls.We were at our accommodation off the Raipara Rd. at 4.30.
Now,I know it is not recommended to get off a long haul flight and drive but you have to trust your own judgement on this.We,being Brits,drive on the same side of the road which makes driving a lot easier, and also we sleep very well in the business class beds so feel pretty rested.I think four hours driving under these circumstances is quite manageable.
Our house,Nic's Shed is a wonderful property.It was someway down Selwyn Rd out of town with vines to the front side and rear of the house.Inside,there was a huge open plan kitchen sitting and dining area running the width of the place.There was a lovely full well equiped kitchen,two downstairs bedrooms with great shower rooms and a third bedroom on a mezzanine level.To the rear,through glass doors was a good size terrace with table and chairs where you could sit peacefully looking at the vines.
After dropping our luggage we drove back into town to stock up at New World with some essentials for the next couple of days although we had been left milk,wine,bread,fruit,yogurt and cookies by the owner.
Dinner was chicken kiev,wedges and coleslaw followed by fruit.
Woke at 6.15 to sunshine.After breakfast we packed some lunch and drove to Picton for a 9am check in with Beachcomber Tours.We boarded our boat at 9.30 and set off into the Marlborough Sounds.Being a lovely day everyone was up top in the sun.
On the way out the skipper announced that there was some splashing ahead which may be indicating some dolphins in the area.And sure enough,there were.They were fantastic and followed us for some time.There must have been a good couple of dozen of them.Everyone was snapping away like mad.
The boat did a couple of stops before arriving at Ship's Cove where some people got off to start a walk.R and I got off to look at the James Cook memorial and then re-boarded.We were doing the shorter walk from Resolution Bay.
It was a really nice walk as we had frequent views of the water.We'd set off at 11.30 and at about 12.20 came upon a picnic table where we stopped just to have a drink deciding it was too early for lunch for us.Immediately, a family of Weka appeared looking for food.They must know that people stop and eat there.The chicks were really cute but on this occasion they were unlucky.
We carried on until half an hour or so later came upon a bench facing a wonderful view of a bay.Perfect we thought! Out came the ham rolls and we started munching.Again,we'd barely sat down when a solitary weka appeared on the scrounge.Taking pity on it I threw it a few crumbs which it gobbled up greedily.It came nearer and before I knew what was happening it leapt up and snatched the half eaten roll from my hand! I was absolutely flabbergasted.R. said that I shouldn't have encouraged it but thought if very funny.
Slightly hungry still (me that is) we continued to Furneaux Lodge where we ordered tea and carrot cake which we ate outside on the deck whilst waiting for our pick up boat.
Down by the water the weather was now quite 'fresh' to say the least and I got out my waterproof for some more protection from the wind.There were also sand flies around which we had to keep trying to avoid.
Back on board with everyone downstairs this time and we were back in Blenheim by 6pm.Had some nice tournado steaks with salad followed by cherries and cheese.