Might As Well Jump!

December 28 – Narrated by Alaina
It amazes me that after nearly two and a half weeks in a camper we are: still getting along, still have things to talk about, and somehow manage to make memorable moments on a daily basis.

Today was one that started out with a blurry plan of us heading to Picton, best known for the ferry that leaves to the north island from its port in Queen Charlotte Sound. It would be a great lunch spot before we headed south to enjoy some of the best Sauvignon Blanc in Marlborough, a world-renowned area for the best vineyards.

I don’t know why I still have the expectation of following a blurry plan because it tends to become obsolete within the hour. We left and of course had our classic steep, ridiculously curvy road out of Nelson and then it happened. About 45 minutes into our drive we came across a one way bridge. Mike immediately saw a warning sign and was like “hell no”:

 We waited for our turn but once we started going over the Pelorus Bridge we both had the same reaction… Oh man! We pulled over and realized quickly that parking was hard to come by but we found a spot and found a staircase to this:

 The absolute most perfect and pristine swimming pool that wasn’t glacially fed! Mike and I dipped our toes in, looked at each other and knew we needed to go change into our swimsuits, it was too perfect not to!

 After our awkward change in Dora, we put our SPF 50 on, got our towels and headed back down. The only logical way to get in the water would be to jump, it was definitely chilly so the ole walk-in-gradually method would be a bust. We climbed up onto a rock, counted down and jumped!

 There was the initial shock of the temperature, but it was unbelievably refreshing and after seeing so many perfectly aqua-blue bodies of after that were absolutely frigid, I was so happy to be swimming! For the next hour we swam, jumped off rocks and had fun watching other people’s reaction to their first jump into the chilly water. I climbed up to one of the higher jumps, and while it doesn’t look high from the water, it’s high up there! It was so fun jumping, and the kids around us? No fear. There was a 10 year old girl that did a flip off the high cliff and another 7 year old boy that was jumping off the high cliff (with his dad in the water of course). It was great to see the parents let their kids be kids and encourage them to be daring and fearless.

We must give a shout out to Coreen and Brad as they let us take their waterproof camera with us and we got some awesome shots. We are bummed because we can’t upload any of those or my big camera until we get home, but it’s ok, it will be great to go through them and relive our trip!

Mike was finally able to drag me out of the water so we could dry off and continue our drive east. The pool was extremely popular today as it was hot and seeing all the people come and go was fun. We found a cafe across the street, changed and may have gotten an ice cream or two.

Onto Picton we took the Queen Charlotte Sound scenic drive. Let me explain that every scenic drive in NZ means very narrow lanes, usually no guard rails, corkscrew turns and steep drop offs. This drive did not disappoint. It was a doozy but the views were stunning:

 We arrived into Picton and their first scenic lookout:

 I don’t know how they managed to get the funding for this but man, it was rather disappointing. Three kilometers down we came across a much better scenic lookout and enjoyed the view.

 We headed into town, walked to their local park which had a pirate ship for a playground… Mike was thrilled, and noticed Mikey’s Bar where, of course, we had to stop in for a drink.img_0080-1
We then headed to the next town over to check out the larger yachts and discovered Jolly Roger’s a restaurant right on the marina that had outdoor seating, good food and cocktails. Between ogling the yachts and enjoying a nice meal, the day that wasn’t planned was a huge success.

 I write this from Dora in Blenheim (wine capital, woohoo) as we watch people playing in the field of our campground, a river flows behind us and a mama duck just walked by with her young duckling. Tomorrow is our last night in Dora and I am trying to take in every last second of this adventure with her.

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