On Friday, we headed back up the coast, via the vineyards of Blenheim, in blazing sunshine and left the South Island through the splendour of the Marlborough Straits on the ferry to Wellington for my final weekend in NZ.
I did a bit of shopping, a bit of mooching, a bit of drinking really good coffee, thinking my thoughts, soaking up my last dregs of warm weather before meeting up with some random relatives.
I reckon although there’s only four million people in New Zealand, everyone in the UK has a random relative there, waiting to be looked up, brought up to speed with the intricacies of how you’re related, who is married to whom and family folklore that you’ve both missed.
Wellington is known for its wind, but my second day in the city was uncharacteristically still, warm and even a bit muggy. We picniced in the Botanic Gardens, wandered along the wharf and stopped for late afternoon glasses of wine.
M cooked an indoor barbecue and then S and I put on dresses and went out. ‘I want you to see New Zealand with people in it,’ S said. She was right. Courtney Place at night was the busiest I have seen anywhere in my entire trip. We drank cocktails in The Library and savoured the last night of my visit.
My last day finally arrived, and with it, torrential and incessant rain. The spell was broken. Time for me to come home.