28 November – Picton, an evening walk from Anakiwa, blue cod in Havelock

28 Nov  Lazy morning gives way to Picton, cafe, shops, a walk, and blue cod and chips in Havelock, and a drive back under the full moon, whose markings are inverted.  The moon’s reflection in the still waters of the sound is clear and dramatic.

The cafe in Picton is near the waterfront area, light breezy. We parked the car outside a Scottish Bar, though it doesn’t look much like one.  Finally I twig the parking system in NZ   P60 must mean you can park for 60 minutes. After a coffee and a cheese and veg muffin we move the car and call in for a few extra supplies from the supermarket.  Then we return home, since it’s too hot to carry food in the car all day.  Aloe Vera is another purchase, along with postcards and stamps.

In the evening we drive out to the start of the Queen Charlotte Walkway at Anakiwa. You are allowed to walk along for an hour or so without a permit, so that’s what we do.  Good clear track, wooded, and flat as far as Davies Bay, where we see birds – a wader, elegant long-legged, high stepping at the water’s edge. It stays around for ages, quite unconcerned, by our presence and attempts to take photos. There’s a brilliant coloured bird, yellow below, with flashing blue-green back and wings . We think it’s some kind of kingfisher. The usual tuis are around, and a few mallard and loads of gulls. We’ve seem some primeval looking birds in trees, possibly a sort of duck, though they looked like penguins.  By the time we return to our starting point, time’s getting on. We think of calling at the pub-restaurant in Linkwater, but it closes at eight, and we arrive at eight ten. So – off to Havelock, and blue cod and chips at the Slip Inn. We also claim our free cup of coffee from a voucher given out on the Pelorus Mail Boat.
The blue cod flesh looks quite white, and tastes – like cod.  It’s actually a very good meal, with chips and salad. Recommended.
The young woman who serves us is by helpful and friendly, and tells us she is in the local fire brigade. A necessary outfit since official medical aid may be half an hour or more away in Blenheim.