Rain and crossing the sound
25mm to 50mm forecast and it didn't disappoint. Had substantial brekkie with Scottish hosts, packed and headed back to Picton to catch the ferry to Wellington. Driving up to Turangi in the evening....
Queued up in solid rain for the ferry. Watched in amusement as 2 sodden cycle tourists circled around trying to find their ferry access point. Initially we took pity on the girlfriend, but gradually realized the dorky boyfriend deserved the sympathy.
Well it certainly wasn't a luxury cruise liner… found some reclining seats although A-lo wouldn't put her head back for fear of catching fleas. Nice relaxing rocking motion from the moderate sea sent me into a relaxed doze.
Disembarked onto Highway 1 North through the Wellington suburbs onto the open Road. We were amused that the main highway from the capital north was narrower than Putney Hill. The first 200 km was uneventful. Passed Palmerston North with its dump named after John Cleese. Other highlights included Taihape, the Gumboot Capital of the World, and Waiouru, home of the National Army Museum. Despite their obvious allure, we kept on trucking and hit the desert road at twilight. There were huge extinct volcanoes of the Tongariro to the left, shrouded in patch stormy clouds with an eerie red glow above from the setting sun. Red sky at night not much comfort here.
Arrived at the Tui lodge in Turangi and before long I was installed in and armchair with a Speights dark ale and Super 14 on TV. The room was full of kidults, and patriarch Ian (fishing guide) was holding court. We were made to feel most welcome and had a good banter with the family before hitting the sack.