Because the ferry is booked up until Sunday we have two nights booked in a place called Lower Hutt. The mantra is “Invercargill or Bust”. This means Picton to Invercargill is about twenty-four hours of driving over seven days. That’s twenty-fours of optimum driving. Driving on every holiday always seems to be slower that Google Maps tells you. We’ll see how it goes. After the two nights in Lower Hutt, a hotel has been booked a couple of hours drive down from Picton in Kaikoura.
A pretty rainy start to the day. We stopped off at a town called Sanson as we passed a coffee shop called “The Church Cafe” with the tagline “Heavenly coffee”. The food was okay, but one of the lesser Gods was in charge of the coffee the day we went. It wasn’t the worst coffee I’ve ever had, but ‘heavenly’? No.
A jar at the counter asked for “Donation for the angels.” I asked who the angels were but the staff seemed non-plussed and weren’t sure.
We ploughed on until we saw a sign in a town called Foxton for a shop called ‘Junk and Disorderly’ and you can’t not go.
The sign on the door said if wasn’t due to open until 11am, so it was worth the fifteen minutes wait so we went for a stroll.
There was a big Dutch-designed library, which inexplicably had a piano in it. I think of libraries as been very shhhhhhh so it seemed odd. Being Dutch there was also a windmill. Obviously.
With it’s painted murals the town had a middle America feel to it.
The town was awash with second-hand shops. Nothing overly interesting to be found though.
All Saints Church was pretty. A sign outside said; “Designed by Mr. Tringham in an early English style this church was build in 1876 on land purchased from the Maori for one hundred gold sovereigns by Captain Francis Robinson. A condition of the purchase was that the grave of Pationa behind the church always be respected. The first vicar was Rev. Francis Sheriff. Additions and changes have been the enlargement of the chancel and vestry (1899). Installation of pipe organ (1967). Memorial stained glass windows are a feature.”
Back to ‘Junk and Disorderly’ to be reminded that it’s Friday and so it’s open at 1pm, not 11pm. Onwards. The coastal road was being battered by waves which I failed to capture in any way so here’s a picture of a tree instead.
Finally we arrived at the Most Important Town in New Zealand. Whitby. Yes, that’s right. Whitby. I took SO MANY photos of things that said Whitby on them. So so many.
In the motel by 4pm or so. So very very windy and rainy outside. Stocked the fridge with food and beer and settled in.
This is the first (and probably) only hotel we’ll be in for two consecutive nights. Some rest before the push to Invercargil.