And so we come to part three of my fateful adventures in Picton.
After chilling out at Shelley Beach in the cool shade of just about the only tree by the water, I decided that it was probably a good idea to get up and about and find somewhere to post my postcards (I had written a couple during the day).
As I walked into town, I was struck by how uncomfortable dry and tight the skin on my face felt. I had been in the shade for most of the day, so I knew that it couldn’t be sunburn. But the discomfort persisted, and I eventually had to pop into a pharmacy so that I could lather my face in moisturiser.
Sometime during my “hike”, my lower back had begun to hurt. But it was at this point that it really began to hurt. As in, a stabbing pain.
I was not impressed.
There was still some time to kill before I had to be at the pick-up spot for the ferry, so I stopped by a cafe to munch on a burger while looking out over the water. Not a bad view, if I do say so myself. Things were looking up.
Until I went to the bathroom and saw my face.
It was red.
The whole thing.
This was not an “oops I got a bit burnt under the eyes.”
This looked like I had had some awful allergic reaction and my whole face, up to my ears and hairline, was lobster red and emanating an awful heat.
Sunburn? It couldn’t be, not like that.
Windburn? Maybe, but this particular day hadn’t been that windy.
I was at a loss. So I slapped on some more moisturiser and trudged out, trying to ignore the waitress’ pitying glances.
When the bus came to pick me up and take me back to the ferry terminal, I was more than ready to go home. Aside from the disaster which was my face and the ever-increasing back pain, I was so tired. To the surprise of no readers, I found a seat as soon as I had checked in at the terminal and settled down to wait. However, I soon ended up on the floor with my legs elevated in a desperate attempt to alleviate the pressure on my back. I sent a silly self-depreciating selfie to the family WhatsApp group, and then waited for boarding.
It was 7:05pm and we had not yet boarded.
Departure had been scheduled for 7:00pm.
Once we had eventually boarded and departed the port, we were running an hour late. Tired Talia was less than stoked.
I found a spare row of three seats, curled up, and attempted to sleep. What followed was three and a half hours of restless tossing and turning. Particularly when the elderly couple across the way decided to have a loud Skype conversation with their daughter, and then again when the sleeping man behind me erupted into the most monstrously rumbling snores known to man.
When the ferry finally pulled into Wellington just before midnight, I was absolutely buggered. I made my way back to the dorm, so ready for a warm shower and a solid sleep before check-out the next morning. I arrived at the dorm building and buzzed myself in and made my way to my room, looking forward to finally relaxing and recuperating after my long and arduous day.
And then I opened the door and my eyes fell immediately on my unpacked suitcase and I cringed. With check-out and my flight the next morning, and my belongings still strewn throughout the dorm, it looked like my much-anticipated rest would have to wait for the time being.