It is always hard saying goodbye to your children and their families. All too soon it was time to start heading home. It was a little easier for me this time, though, as I knew I would be back down in six weeks.
We headed north through Dunedin and stopped for a lovely leisurely lunch with my Auntie in Waitati Valley. The trip from there to Ashburton was uneventful and we arrived at my sister-in-law’s house just in time for dinner. It was nice to catch up with her again, and we spent the night there.
Now Ashburton is also home to the Ashford Craft Village. Obviously I couldn’t pass through without visiting so we duly stopped on our way out of town. There was only one problem! We arrived just on 9 am, only to find that on Saturdays (which was the day we were there) they didn’t open until 10 am.
After taking a few photos to share with you, and gazing wistfully through the front doors at the tantalising display just out of reach, we were on the road again. We bypassed Christchurch on the road to the west of the airport, and continued on to Cheviot for lunch. There is a really nice café there which we have stopped at before. It was just as nice this time through.
Our last stop on the way back to Picton was in Kaikoura. On the 14th of November, 2016, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake devastated this small coastal town. Very significant road and earth works are still continuing on the coastal road and hillsides, but the progress achieved so far is absolutely phenomenal.
We spent a couple of hours just wandering around the town. I had a bit of a play with my big camera on the beach and then it was time for the last stage of our South Island trip. We arrived back in Picton three hours early so we had a leisurely dinner before boarding the ferry for a smooth sailing home to Wellington.