The last day of 2010 saw me rising early for the trip down to Wellington to catch the Interislander, in this case the Arahura, to the South Island. As it turned out, my car - the teal one on the right- ended up right at the front of the back of the ship- if that makes sense- ready for the great drive-off. (Also a good position in which you get salt spray all over your windscreen too as it turned out. )
It was a pretty calm crossing, though the wind was cold at times on the deck in the Strait itself. But here you see people relaxing on the deck in the Marlborough Sounds, just like they portray it in all the Interislander ads, where it seems as if 'rough crossings' never happen.
Once off the ship it wasn't long before I had passed through Blenheim, and was into the dry of the Awatere Valley. It was amazing to think there had been major flooding not far from here just days before.
This is also the land where massive irrigation is used for vineyards.
I had decided to make it a slow trip, as I wasn't sure how my wrist would manage with so much driving, and I don't feel safe if it stiffens up too much. I was only aiming for Kaikoura this day. Turned out to be a great plan, as I ended up stopping off at all sorts of small places I would usually rush by in the car. This is Kekerengu Beach where I had a walk and a little explore.
And near the parking area there were some of the biggest thistles I have ever seen, taller than I am.
I was surprised to see cabbage trees growing on such dry hilly land. Somehow I had imagined them only in wetter places. And eventually I reached Kaikoura....