Its a beautiful sunny day as I make my way to the ferry terminal. For the next 3 nights, I will be spending my time at Lochmara, a resort in The Marlborough Sounds. I am looking forward to a few days of sun, fresh air, the outdoors and no real agenda.
On board the ferry, I settle into my seat by the window and spend the next couple of hours reading and listening to podcasts. I also do a bit of people watching. I have no where else I need to be, nothing else I need to be doing. Life these days is often just so busy that I don’t have time to just sit, watch and take in my surroundings. It’s a nice change.
The sailing is very calm and smooth which I am relieved about. I am pretty good with motion but the Cook Straight can get pretty wild. I have been on one of those sailings before and not something I wish to repeat! Its a very pretty trip, there is really only a small section where you are not surrounded by land. We pass mountains dusted with a little bit of snow before entering The Sounds. Then I instantly feel like I am on holiday. The ocean turns a turquoise blue, seagulls sail alongside the boat. Schools of fish disrupt the ocean surface and little pockets of golden sandy bays peep out below the trees. I don’t know why, but the colours just seem more vibrant here.
Then things start to get stressful. My ferry was significantly delayed so I re-booked my connecting water taxi for 3.15pm. The ferry was meant to get in at 2pm but we left a little late. I was told we would arrive around 2:30pm and that I would have plenty of time to get to my water taxi. At 2:30pm we were still making our way through The Sounds and I start to get stressed. The 3:15 water taxi is the last one for the day so I don’t want to miss it. We dock at 3pm, I then have to get on a bus to take us to the terminal where I collect my bag. I have a minute so I give the water taxi a call. They say they will try to hold it for me and that I need to run. So that’s what I do. With my tramping pack on I start running (as best as a non runner can, while wearing tramping pack) through the streets of Picton to the jetties. I arrive at 3:20pm where I am welcomed aboard and told to sit back and relax. No one minds that I am late and that they had to wait. Everyone is in holiday mode.
With music playing, sun shining and the fresh sea breeze whipping through my hair, it doesn’t take me long to slip back into a state of relaxation.
I am staying at Lochmara, a beautiful lodge nestled amongst trees in a quiet bay. I first heard of this place earlier in the year when Daniel and I made a trip down to Alexandra on the motorbike. I saw a couple of billboards for the place and thought it looked nice. I looked it up and the place went straight onto my bucket list.
When the water taxi arrives at the jetty, the staff are waiting to welcome us, collect our bags and show us around. Bean bags, hammocks, sunshine, a sheltered sandy bay. Yes, I think I will be quite happy here.
I have booked their budget room. Its quite basic and has no sea views, but I am not here to sit in my room! Even in their budget room, I still get full access to all their facilities and activities so its a great option for me.
It doesn’t take me long to ditch my shoes and wander bare foot (no shoes are needed here) to the bar, where I grab a cider to enjoy in the sun. I have done very little today, but it’s been a long day. I am ready to sit back, relax and leave city life behind me for a few days.
When night falls, I grab my camera and head to the ‘Glowworm Dell’. I arrive, turn off my torch and am dazzled by an array of tiny lights. It’s as if someone has picked up the heavens and pulled them right down to earth.
I’m enjoying experimenting with night photos. I am very much a novice but it hasn’t stopped me from giving it a go. This is not quite the effect I was going for but an interesting shot none the less.
I head back to my room but decide to take a detour down to the bay. As my eyes adjust, more and more stars become visible in the night sky. It is beautiful. So of course I set up my camera and have a go at a few more photos. Slightly better results than my last attempts.
I find stars very mesmerising , they draw me in and it gets me thinking about what life would have been like many years ago. Today, everything is available at our fingertips, fast and convenient has become our way of life. But we have traded the starry nights for the city lights, our forests for parking lots and malls, nature’s chorus is replaced by podcasts and city noise, stillness has been replaced by schedules. In our journey of progress, technology and invention, we have lost touch with Mother Nature. It may not be for everyone, but I recharge my batteries by ditching the schedule and surrounding myself in nature. That is why trips like this are so important for me. Creating space to sit, watch and listen, that is when I feel most alive.
Make time to take time.