After our unforgettable journey through the Abel Tasman it was time to face the reality of leaving the South Island. Of course, when one is WOLOing it is difficult to focus on the logistics (i.e. purchasing a ferry trip) and our last-minute booking gave us a few extra days to explore the Marlborough Sounds.
With time on our hands, we drove the long and windy gravel road of the French Pass to Elaine Bay – 40 kilometers (25 miles) to be exact! Elaine Bay was peaceful and remote: an “end of the road” bay perfect for camping, but the real gem was the drive! The last 17 kilometers (11 miles), clear cut by the timber industry, provided non-stop views of coastline unlike anywhere else in the Marlborough Sounds. Our gazes were met with blue-green bays, white sand coves, and rocky islands stretching out along the horizon – we could even see the wonderful Abel Tasman coastline!
From Elaine Bay we journeyed back to sunny Picton – the arrival and departure point for the ferries. We were fortunate enough to leave port on a bright and sunny morning and with good company (two Germans we had met at camp the night before in a friendly game of footie)! The four of us enjoyed breakfast and conversation before heading to the deck to enjoy the sights; however, when we reached the Cook Strait (the 14 meters/9 miles of water connecting the Tasman Sea to the South Pacific Ocean) heavy seas saw us retreating to the interior of the boat where we remained, speechless and fighting seasickness, for the better half of the trip – yuck!
Setting foot on solid ground we bid the Germans, and the nausea, farewell! Then, we treated ourselves to some delicious Thai food courtesy of Wellington’s Phutahi Esarn Restuarant to both commemorate our WOLOing in the South Island and celebrate the next leg of our trip!
Next stop: The Mahia Penninsula
Song lyrics: Zac Brown Band “Jump Right In”
– Go. Change your state of mind.