Queen Charlotte Track Day #2: Universal Grandma

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Start Time: 10am
Arrived at Noeline’s Homestay at 1:30pm
Distance: 11km
Weather: Overcast

The dreary weather made our short hike today rather uneventful as our views were very limited. Here is our eager day two picture. I make Kath take one every morning.

We booked into Noeline’s Homestay for the night, and it felt just like staying at Grandma’s house. She invited us into her home located about 15 minutes off the track, and welcomed us with homemade scones and tea. I am convinced that Kiwis are the most talented homemakers I have ever met in my life. Everyone here seems to excel in anything cooking or baking related; very Martha Stewart like, less the jail time. But I suppose there is plenty of time to perfect your kitchen skills when you live in isolation. I found it quite fascinating asking Noeline about her lifestyle in the Sounds.

I would liken living in the Marlborough Sounds to that of living in the country, except a bit more complicated. I often wondered if the residents even own a car seeing as there are no local roads nearby. If you do own a car, where do you park it? Do you solely travel via boat? How often do you venture into town? I bet it gets incredibly inconvenient if you make the journey to the grocery store and accidentally forget an essential item.

This is how Noeline’s travel goes: she walks down to her jetty where the boat picks her up and drives her a few minutes away to Punga Cove where they then haul her in a tractor up a very large hill to her car. It takes her two hours to drive to Picton, the closest and largest town, and then she repeats the process in reverse to get back home. About once every 6-7 weeks she makes this complicated journey. She continued, telling me how the mail is only delivered twice a week, something I had never even considered. The mailman travels via boat, and they exchange bags for incoming and outgoing mail, so she doesn’t even have a proper mailbox. The newspaper is only delivered twice a week as well. Country living doesn’t sound so remote to me anymore!

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