A six am awakening to major swell for Alberto: a fine attempt was made with his new (muscled, gigantic, natural surfer type) Kiwi friends to show off the surfing skills, albeit somewhat short lived, to avoid drowning and general disaster. To give him his due, this was not altogether unexpected: the swell was such that they (and some of those very surfer companions) were preparing the national surf championships for the day after on the very same beach 😎.
The road beckoned once more: after an emotional goodbye to our lovely new friends, we reluctantly took to the car once again southern bound, to Wellington and the South Island. A picnic pit stop in Wairoa lovingly made by amazing Jude, and back on the road, accompanied by panoramic views, cows, apple trees and the chorus of occasionally hysterical children behind. 7 hours later, a few more conversations about my excellent driving skills (Alberto pointed out that I had created the ONLY traffic jam ever known in New Zealand… in my defence, the roads were remarkably skinny and winding as we came into Wellington) and we arrived late to the costal lights of Wellington for a one night sleep before taking the ferry over for the stunning crossing to Picton on the South Island early next morning.