11 February, 2019
I decided to strike out and embark on new ground during my final full day in Wellington. I had booked a return ticket on the ferry to Picton, and I was prepared for a day of hiking and adventure.
Alas, that is not what happened.
During the course of my journey, I had gotten sick. And not just a bit fluey. I mean, coughing-my-lungs-out, tired-all-the-time, I-just-need-to-sleep and I-can’t-breathe-properly sick.
Did that mean that I cancelled my plans and stayed in bed like a good and rational girl?
Of course not.
I set my alarm for 6am, got up, groggily dressed myself and ate my breakfast, and I took off.
On the way to the ferry terminal, I snapped some lovely shots of Wellington as the city was just waking up:
At the terminal, I checked in and then waited for the boarding call. When we did get on to the ferry, I found myself a place to sit down and then I woke up about an hour later. I looked out the window. We had left Wellington. And I had missed it. I had missed the photo opportunities and the chance of great footage of the ferry pulling away from the port.
But hey, I felt slightly better, so that was something, right?
I trudged into the cafe and ordered myself a tea, both as a pick-me-up and as an attempt to soothe my throat. I sat myself at a spare table by a window and sipped on the lemongrass and ginger brew. I did a bit of reading for my thesis, which was frequently interrupted by me staring out of the window at the passing mountains and cliffs in wonder. New Zealand is a stunning country, and I was enjoying these views from the water.
When we had hit open ocean, I started to get hungry. I eyed off some other people’s meals and eventually decided that I was going to order some wedges. I love wedges. Ordering wedges seemed like a great idea.
I ordered, and waited.
My wedges had just come and I had just begun to tuck in when the entrance to Queen Charlotte Sound loomed before us.
I sat there and stared out the window, dumbfounded, as the gorgeous islands rose seemingly from nowhere and beautiful green, turquoise and deep blue scenery burst out before me. I stood, a wedge in my hand, staring. The Queen Charlotte Sound was there, right there. And I was inside with my wedges. I ate as many as I could as quickly as possible, stuffed the rest into my pocket (yes, I did; no, I’m not proud) and ran outside to grab some shots and appreciate the landscape before me.
It was absolutely beautiful. I won’t even try to describe it. But it was amazingly majestic and beautiful, and the shining sun only added to the serene calm of the place.
I made my way up to the top deck and couldn’t keep still. I was consistently changing angles, jumping to a different side of the boat, switching my position. Every feature of the landscape which surrounded me demanded attention, demanded to be appreciated, and I was in awe.
It took us 3.5 hours to reach Picton from Wellington, but the last hour or so, in which we travelled through Queen Charlotte Sound, seemed to pass incredibly quickly.
When we finally pulled into port and the town of Picton sprung up below us, I was almost disappointed. But I had a day of walking and adventure ahead of me – or so I thought – so I disembarked with a spring in my step, ready to take on the day ahead!