Tour of South Island – the rest of the trip
Wednesday 23rd February
The next morning we received the devastating news that our friends Phyllis and Bob, who were crewing on the sailing yacht Quest, had been senselessly murdered by their pirate captors. We were all stunned. Neither we or Peter and Margie knew the yacht because it had joined the BWR in Phuket but Phyllis had joined the rally in Gibraltar and Bob in the Marquesas and they had crewed on various boats. They had both joined us on Camomile for my birthday party last year. They were lovely people and both so full of life; it’s a tragic end to their journey and our thoughts go out to their families.
We left Kates and drove with Peter and Margie to Chch to take their camper van back. We had intended to spend the day in Chch but that was out of the question so we turned north and drove to Hanmer Springs. Set in the Kaikoura range 380m above sea level Hanmer Springs Thermal pools were an ideal way to relax after the previous couple of days. There were 15 open-air thermal pools of varying temperatures, their geothermal waters drawn from an adjacent bore. We spent several hours wallowing. The three Sulphur pools contained unfiltered thermal water, which left our skin feeling very soft and clean. We had had enough of the tent so we hired a 2-bedroomed cabin for the night and enjoyed a pizza together that evening.
The next day we continued up the Kaikoura coastline stopping several times to gaze at the seals basking in the sunshine on the rocky coast. We stopped in the coastal town of Kaikoura for lunch then continued our drive up the coast back to Picton. Peter and Margie were booked onto the Interislander ferry to Wellington the following day but they had time to have a look around Picton. Camomile was safe and sound when we returned. We bought fish and chips and took them back to Camomile to eat them before we took Peter and Margie to the cabin they had booked for the night.
The next morning we picked them up and took them to the departure lounge for the ferry. It was sad saying goodbye because we had spent a wonderful couple of weeks together but the sailing world is quite small and I’m sure we’ll meet them again one day.