_____On Christmas Day I am invited to eat at Esther and Scott’s, a cousin I had never met and her husband. Also James, another cousin and his family are there. An excellent Christmas dinner on a hot sunny day with plenty of cold beer in a hilly suburb of Wellington.
_____ Up early on Boxing Day, down to the quay and on board the Interislander ferry to the South Island. A three and a half hour crossing of 90 kilometres; a long haul out of Wellington harbour, a long stretch in the Tory Channel leading into Picton harbour. Only just over an hour on the open sea; crossing the Cook Strait, nice; my kind of ferry crossing. Picton is sunny, breezy and a South Pacific Island band is playing in the park. I decide to camp in Picton and start the journey south tomorrow.