I am Linda and along with my husband Richard and our dog Muffin we enjoy our summers on the UK's canal system

Monday 4 March 2024

The BIG One - New Zealand - Days 20, 21 and 22

 Tuesday 20th February - Wellington

The wind died down through the night and it had rained.  I had the best night’s sleep I’d had for a while, but didn’t feel much better for it ☹️

We drove to the garage to get the water pump fixed.  They were convinced it was a fuse and spent a couple of hours trying to find the fuses which were in about five different places!  Eventually they found the right one and discovered it was fine and, in fact, the pump had packed up - don’t forget it was only 2 weeks old!  The garage sourced a new pump and had to go off and collect it so we went into Wellington so we could at least say we had been!  

We found a car park full of motorhomes so parked up and walked.  We stopped for coffee which turned into lunch!  The main thing we wanted to do was find the cable car and go up to the top.  It was a lovely view from the top.  The cable car was originally opened on February 22nd 1902 (almost her 122nd birthday).  After 76 years the original cable car service came to an end in September 1978 with new cars opening October 1979.  The journey length is 609 metres with an elevation of 119 metres.

All too soon we had to head back to Kiwi and drive back to the garage where we finally got the pump fixed. 

I seemed to turn the corner as we got back to the site and felt so much better.  I was still coughing but felt about 60% back to normal 😃.

Wednesday 21st February - Blenheim

Up and away ready to get the ferry across to South Island.  We were very early checking in, but then so were lots of other people!  I took the opportunity to sweep and wash the floor, the men at the garage had been tramping over the floor with their dirty hob nail boots on!

I had booked the Premium Lounge on the ferry, mainly as it is mid-ships and that is the best place to be if you feel sea sick!  I had heard all sorts of horror stories about the Cook Straights and how rough it could get.  In the end it was very smooth but we did enjoy our complimentary 3 course meal and drinks though it was only Coke for us!

We drove down to Blenheim - a journey of about 25 minutes.  The site wasn’t very nice - rather tatty really, but it was in the right location!

Thursday 22nd February - Blenheim

We were hopping on and hopping off today, but first we had to walk up to the iSite office (tourist information) to the bus stop.  I had booked the bus in advance and it seemed a good way of visiting wineries without having to drive, but before leaving the site I needed to do a load of washing and get it on the line to dry.

Our first port of call wasn’t a winerie, but an aviation museum. It was fascinating and had planes hanging from the ceiling to make them look as if they were flying.  I focused on the British planes though there were plenty of German ones there.  There were also some interesting stories of New Zealanders who had gone over to Europe during WWII. 

We picked the bus up again and drove to St Clair winery where we had lunch booked in.  Our table was in a courtyard though there were a couple in amongst the vines.  Our waiter was French and explained the wines and we ended up with a Pinot Gris, not our first choice as we love Sauvignon Blanc, but we decided to try something different. Let’s put it this way, we now have a new second favourite!  The food was excellent and we really enjoyed it.

Our third and final stop was Cloudy Bay winery where we had a tasting. We tried three different Sauvignon Blancs and decided we liked last year’s vintage the best.  We learnt a lot about the grapes, the growing and the blending, but we didn’t buy any wine which I felt rather guilty about.

At the iSite office we got off the bus and walked back to the site where all we needed to eat was some toast, oh and yes the washing was all dry.

A nice day out with no driving for Richard.

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