We made our way to the west coast and checked out the big glaciers and were not that impressed. Didn't have any batteries for the camera at that time either so we'll have to get some pics from AMC for the journal later on. Headed through Arthur's Pass back toward the center of the country and stayed at a great hostel in Springfield. Had some lovely meals and night of reading books by a pot bellied stove and even a movie. Next day was Saturday and we headed back toward the east coast to head north. As Christchurch was on the way, we decided to check out the best fish and chips stand in the world and as we parked and walked to it, found that they were closed. That was a bummer, but we pulled in our bottom lip and rolled north. Found a place by the side of the road to catch some z's and moved on to Picton the next day to get details about the ferry ride to the north island. Having done that we headed on and around to the Abel Tasman area to see the sights and check out a town that was meant to be much cooler than we found it. Takana was supposed to be very chill and a great place to be. We liked the coast north of there and a great beach to the east where tidal pools made for fun swimming in a very shallow current that even a strong swimmer would struggle with. The nice thing was that the sand was just beneath so you could float feet first and when you dropped them, the water would stand you right up. The cheapest ferry run was at 9:30 pm so Ry volunteered to be sober driver and take Annie and I around to the wineries in the area. They are so close that we managed to sample at 9 wineries. The first one we stopped at happens to be the icon of the area and they gave us a great suggestion list of others to check out. It's mostly a Sauvignon Blanc region so that is the big wine for all of the vineyards. They also had Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Reislings, Gewurtstrameiner (pretty sure I messed up the spelling on that one, but I'll fix it later), and most did a Pinot Noir. Very respectable wines. I picked up some literature for you Timmy! Drove on the ferry and made the three hour journey quite comfortably. It was about as rough as it gets we were told as there was a strong southerly wind. There was a quite a bit of motion, but we managed to hold it all down. One note about the pics. We have a slight addiction to Cadbury's milk chocolate and have some most days. Recently found a big bar at the grocery store that was on sale and had to get it. Ruby bay is one place we camped in the north country. It was incredible as the pics show. Had our first fire here which was very nice.