Monday 29 November 2010


Today I drove from Picton (Marlborough Sounds) to Hokitika, 400km in all, through very Alpine scenery.

I can’t say that it was the most riveting day, though, and this is one of very few photos because (as previously noted on this blog) driving and photography are mutually incompatible activities. But I made it safely to Hokitika, which is about half way down the South Island’s west coast and I’m staying at a very sweet B&B – the kind with homemade biscuits. Yum.

Instead of telling you about today’s route (the 1 and then the 6 and then the 65 and then the 6 again and then the 69 and then the 7 and then back on the 6) can I tell you more about my blissful weekend?

On Saturday, fortified by French toast (with bacon, my FAVOURITE thing) I went for a 5 hour hike along the Queen Charlotte Track. Lots of up and down so I think the French toast was deserved. My feet weren’t entirely happy to be back in hiking boots, but I ignored them and admired the scenery.

On Sunday I soaked up the sun, read my book, drank wine, went swimming … I do these things so you don’t have to. But I think the highlight (pun alert!) of the weekend was last night when I walked up the hill to look at the stars. I had no torch (my ipod was doubling as music and light source) and it took a few minutes for my eyes to adjust. But still I thought I was seeing things when the stars came at me at knee height. After a freaked-out moment, I realised that the little lights I was seeing through the trees weren’t stars at all – they were glowworms. Oh, they were lovely, lighting my path up to the observatory. (The observatory consists of a cluster of hammocks at the top of the hill.) At the top of the hill, I climbed into a hammock and looked up at the stars. I recognised Orion and the Southern Cross (I think) – there were also several planes and one that might have been a satellite. It was so beautiful that I cried a little bit (yes, okay, I had had two glasses of wine, but still) because sometime I feel very lucky to be a Lady Traveller and see the things I’ve seen.


As a bonus for Anonymous who did my research for me and discovered that the Isle of Innisfree did, in fact, used to do the Dublin-Holyhead run, here’s a picture of her:


  1. Ms anonymous never could get her useds straight. I don't believe the boat pictured travelled from Ireland to NZ, in fact it doesn't look as though it would survive the Irish sea.
    PS Sunshine in November is all very fine but you should try looking out at snow and ice, knowing that you have an unexpected free Tuesday! Wowee!

  2. LTs avid readers may be interested to know that 'Uachtaráin na hÉireann', an account of presidents and the presidency (of Ireland)will be launched on Nov 30th, in the absence of the author.