It was a long first day of our road trip in New Zealand. We drove from Lincoln to Kaikora with a major extended stop to sneak up on some beautiful New Zealand fur seals. Meun made all the accomodation arrangements and we will be spending the first night at Spring Creek Holiday Park. We were all so tired by the time we got to the holiday park. The sight of the bunks in the tiny room was so inviting. But first things first…a visit to local resident Eddie and his mates is in order.
There were like 6 bunks crammed into a small unit. Good thing is the car gets parked right in front of the entrance. Which means I don’t have to empty out everything. The cooking area is located in a building just next door. This is something new to me. There were stoves, fridges and kettles all readily available for use. The only rule is to clean up after use. We weren’t alone in the kitchen that day. I thought I’d be friendly and introduce myself to a chap that looks very Malaysian. Turns out he is from Johor. I was excited…what are the chances of meeting a fellow Malaysian out here! But somehow Mr Ah-Beng doesn’t seem to care.He had that ‘go f#@% yourself’ attitude on him. Ah well. Perhaps he has stayed in NZ too long. Who am I to judge!
Day two…we were up early as usual. It was hard to get Yang to understand keeping quiet. He was ready to play, knocking on the wall, shouting, dragging things around. Next thing we know, people from the unit next door starts yelling at us. Can’t blame them, it is still 5:30am. Out of options, we decided it was time to pack up and go. It was a cold morning. The frost covered our windscreen and the doors were locked shut. As I stood there trying to yank the car door, our shouting neighbors came out. I wanted to run and hide at that instant. Luckily the chap smiled and told me what to do to defrost the car…a shower of room temperature water (still very cold mind you) did the trick.
Picton is a town in the region of Marlborough towards the northen part of the South Island. It was a short 1 hour drive from Benheim but I was feeling magnificently good to be away from a holiday park that prevailed on feeding eels. This Picton town…somehow I like. Perhaps because it is close to the sea. Or maybe it is the calm and relax feeling I get when I wander around the town. This is also the town where people can drive their vehicles onto a ferry and cross over to North Island. An adventure that we would probably make before we head back to Malaysia.
There were a lot of boats at the marina. All shapes and sizes dressed the calm waters. We managed to coax Yang Yang to walk onto the Coat Hanger bridge. There were a few other walkers that morning who had their best furry friends with them. Their presence definitelly helped to encourage Yang Yang to walk further on. What a great feeling to see people walk freely with their dogs. Something that would be almost impossible back home.
We still had a few hours to drive from Picton to Nelson. The landscape along the drive was dominated with stretches of vineyards which were sadly (mostly) leafless. We thought of making a detour to one of the vineyards and maybe sample some fine wine but thought best not to mingle alcohol with driving. In New Zealand, some say the penalty can be worse that smoking pot.
It was another 3 hours drive for us to arrive at Nelson. Not long after we departed Picton, we got to Pelorus bridge. Did a quick stop here to have a look around. An amazingly beautiful location. Another good example of how passionate the Kiwis are at keeping and protecting their natural heritage. How I wish Malaysians were more like the Kiwis.
It was an early day start for all of us. The Yang one is already sleeping by the time we got to Pelorus bridge. I too am tired but I wanted to make sure we get to Nelson as soon as we can so that we could all can get some rest. Still a long drive to make but the growling tummy kept me awake and motivated to get to Nelson fast and safe. Arriving soon at Nelson, we just can’t wait to meet our friend Penny O!