Arrive South Island

Day 12 South Island early afternoon – head North to the top of the South from Picton ferry terminal, already the landscape in front of us as we drove – even with the intermittent rain and cloud – mountainous beauty part hidden by the mist, we were already in awe. One  hour into the journey….

Pelorus Scenic Reserve – Walk to stretch the legs, sixty minute loop track. This route took us over the Pelorus River via the main road bridge before dropping down to the side, through forest and out to an 80m high suspension bridge spanning the Rai River.

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Long-suffering immediately went a funny shade of grey. Now usually when at great height it’s up to me to take the lead, but no off he bravely went with me following. Walking very heavy footed behind – as a little joke – the bridge bounced with my every step, sending me into spasms of laughter as he turned wobbly legged and grasping the sides to give me ‘the look’.

The trail, on the other side followed high above the river through lush native forest and sheer drops to the unforgiving bush and rocky river below. We had to pick our way through twisting exposed tree roots lining the route like slithering snakes beneath our feet. The loop unfortunately sent us back for a return visit over the suspension bridge, much to long-sufferings displeasure.

Don’s Freedom Camp late afternoon – the perfect stop for our first night on the South Island and a detour from ‘the itinery’. Beautiful setting bordering a fast flowing River.

Don the owner welcoming us to literally pick our own fresh fruit and veg from his well tended productive plot.

Produce to make my mouth water, not so much the long-suffering, who looked aghast at the yellow courgettes, beefsteak tomatoes, beetroot and cucumbers. Stir-fry was the dish of the day and guess who now likes yellow courgettes!

First thunder storm, rain pounding on Aramoana’s roof all night not a lot of sleep..

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