So with a sad farewell to Lo and Richard we jumped onto the Bluebridge Ferry. It was a lovely calm crossing (although it still took longer than was timetabled) and there was no sign of the 12m swell we have seen on photos.
We were met off the ferry by Patrice, who is the sweetest woman we have met. John and Patrice maurice welcomed us into their home and treated us like royalty - we even had whitebait patties for tea. Within an hour of us arriving every cousin/relative from Picton had arrived to meet us. Later we were
invited to a personal live performance from their daughter Renee who had just returned from a trip to LA where she sang to Julie Andrews and met Arnie. Her voice and talent for writing music was amazing and we hope to hear her in the charts soon!!
After a whirl wind tour round the rellies and going to the original Ross plantation we headed to Nelson where we were met by Bruce C-R. His house is on a hill overlooking the bay and I was not sure which was more beautiful the view or the interior which Bruce made himself. Their hourse is lovely and we were once again blessed with our own little flat. After Bruce's fish pie and chocolate mousse and a lovely evening with him and Vicky we retired before our 6am startto the Abel Tasman National Park.
Thankfully the weather pulled through for us and provided sun and no wind for our day of Kayaking. The Abel Tasman is beautiful but does need to be seen from the water. We paddled into Shag Harbour - a lovely lagoon, saw a stingray, seals and penguins swimming and then visited the seal colony.
We spent the night in a secluded bay on a boat which was beautiful. In the middle of the night we took the dinghy to the caves - the night sky was filled with stars (Stu calls them things like the Milky Way and Southern Cross), the boat caused phosphorescence and the caves were spectacular with the glowworms. We had a wet walk back through the park (def better by sea) and returned to Nelson.
Nelson is famous for its art so we went to see the World of Wearable Arts. They do a show and comp each year and all the pieces are then put in the museum. (Chez you should do this in the UK!) There were lovely dresses made from maps/papers, bras made to look like booby birds, glow in the dark outfits, tutus made out of ballet shoes... (oh and there were also some collectable cars on show!)
From the country where everyone talks about the wind direction as an acceptable topic of conversion,
Mel and stu x