Thurs 18 February 2021
It is high time I also recommence with my blog which has been sadly lacking (YES the readers wail). Therefore to bring you up to date, I am sitting on the fringe of wet and muggy Abel Tasman National Park and trying to type up as many blog posts as I can before I set off walking again tomorrow.
After Wellington I shot home for Waitangi weekend. I had had enough of walking and wanted a short break. The plan was to return from there to start the South Island. In the meantime I was waiting for a replacement credit card from the bank which was delayed by the public holidays and then got lost. Another card was to be created and couriered however in the meantime the days were slipping away in February. I took the opportunity to have a zip replaced on my tent which I had busted in a rage when it was wet and the tent fabric again caught in the zip. Then low and behold Auckland went into level 3 lockdown and my access to the airport and flight south went along with it. I toyed with the idea of driving south instead but didn’t listen to my intuition and instead waited for the announcement to reduce from level 3 before booking a flight to Wellington. My friend Aaron was heading to Nelson Lakes and so a plan was hatched that I would join him in Nelson and we would venture off for hiking and I would continue onto Boyle and Hanmer Springs. Good plan, so I booked the 8am ferry to Picton which would have me there with time to spare before the bus on Friday to Nelson. There is no Saturday bus between Picton and Nelson due to Covid reductions in service so I will overnight in Nelson.
My 3pm flight had been cancelled minutes after I had booked it, so instead I took the flight an hour earlier. It was uneventful. More so due to mask wearing and no food & beverage service because of this. There was not a spare seat on the plane which I thought was strange given social distancing but it doesn’t bother me. I’m more bothered by the lack of refreshments as the airside café was scant and with no Koru anymore I am on the wrong side of the domestic lounge doors.
There is currently no Airport – City bus for the Wellington airport. Instead one walks 700m to catch the #2 bus into the city. Fortunately it is not raining and its only $5 for the one-way ride. I’ve booked into the Hotel Waterloo and Backpackers in the CBD as it is directly across the street from the Bluebridge ferry terminal. Once checked into the Waterloo I went across to the terminal to ask if I could check-in for the ferry now and thus not have to get up so early in the morning. I couldn’t, however I was pleased I had asked as it turns out that tomorrows 8am sailing is likely to be delayed which could result in me missing the bus to Nelson. The check-in girl suggests the 2.30am ferry instead. There is space available so reluctantly I change to the earlier ferry. OMG I will have to get up at 1am tomorrow! For now I have a few hours to explore the Wellington waterfront and take advantage of the sunny and warm evening. Once back at the Waterloo I go to set my alarm for 1am. That’s in 4 hours 30 minutes indicates my phone – WHAAAAT surely not! But its true alright. I had better get some kip…