Takaka, New Zealand

Temperature: high of about 70ºF, low of about 40ºF

The ferry from Wellington to Picton was almost always in view of some breathtaking coastline.  But the ferry was about three hours late due to a collision between a luggage cart and the train that loads and unloads boxcars from the ferry.  Along with us, the ferry was carrying about a hundred ten-year-old boys in matching rugby uniforms.

In Picton, we picked up a rental car (a better one that what we booked) and drove to Nelson along some very winding and scenic coastline.  After a splendid Indian dinner, we found a room at a hotel that looked modern enough to have telephones in the room so we could update the web page.  But alas, the phone jacks here are European style and I'll need to pick up another adapter.

It was exciting to finally get a signal on our mobile phone after fiddling for a few weeks with it.  The procedure that finally worked was to switch to 900MHz and then turn the phone off and on.  I could have sworn that I tried that back in Auckland, but that is what did the trick in Wellington.

The ferry ride was only rough towards the middle.  Then I had to step out for some fresh air, but right out on deck was a fish and chips booth with the strong smell of old grease and vinegar.  Decidedly not fresh air.
On our drive north west from Nelson, we stopped at a river that travels underground and pops up here.  I admit that we're beginning to wonder why anyone would want to live in Oregon if they could live here.  Oh, and this bit of New Zealand is significant because no part of LOTR was filmed here.
Here we are on the top of a marble mountain with loads of odd rock formations.  Julie the director contemplates her next shot.
We're not sure what scene it is, but our research showed that some part of LOTR was filmed on Takaka Hill.  Julie yawns at the repetitive beauty of yet another spectacular landscape.

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