The fifth day started before 7 am, without alarm, still pretty early for an holiday. We wanted to see everything everywhere but we had a tight schedule because we were supposed to be in Marahau, where the Abel Tasman coastal Track begins, already the next day.
We drove in direction Picton, on a meandering and narrow road, which, combined with my sportive driving style, contribute to make life harder for the passengers. Fortunately, we were stopping every 5 minutes to admire and take picture of the landscapes, so we didn’t risk to get sick.
Any photographer knows that morning and evening light are the best, however this landscape with mixed sea, mountain, grass, hills in such short distance, was simply stunning. Gorgeous mountains, with light green grass and trees whom their leafs that were beginning to become yellow (the autumn was just beginning).
The weather was composed by cloud patches alternating with sun, it was colorful and unpredictable. Taking a picture was a matter of seconds, and the good light was already gone. For example, I could not delete the picture below, beside the scratch near the sun, I find it anyway beautiful. I didn’t have enough time to properly reduce the shouter aperture. Few seconds after the sun went under the clouds and the landscape changes completely.
Hills were actually more populated than the cities: mainly cows, horses, sheep . I could not take picture of any of them, because they were so shy and scared: as soon as I was moving toward the fence, they were fleeing as I was going to eat them.
Most of the time nobody was around: you could drive for hours without meet and cross any car on the opposite direction. If you have the chance to meet a car going in your direction, they were likely to let you pass, no matter which car they were driving.
I can say, the South Island was like having found another Nirvana after living for few years in a so high dense country as Netherlands, where is almost impossible to move away from the human being constructions (no matter where you go, you’ll hear cars passing).
New Zealand is peaceful and relaxing as no land I’ve been visited so far, can be. The only sounds you hear were from the nature: wind, trees, birds, water and our breaths.
Once arrived to Picton (I didn’t show any picture because, frankly there is nothing to show, as most of the cities here, but I’ll come back on this subject later) we had breakfast, did some shopping, and we drove back to Nelson, with the idea of having lunch in Havelock, famous place where to eat green-lipped mussels.
In Havelock, under the shining sun, we ate mussels in a restaurant on the shore of the harbor. Mussels in white wine combined with a glass of white wine (I don’t remember if it was a pinot gris or something else): Delicious.
After lunch we continued our slow drive to Nelson. It took us quite a lot of time, because we were stopping time to time to take pictures and enjoy the nature.