Quite tired after the annoying German twins last night I wander onto the 8am inter-island ferry, heading for the south island. The crossing is fantastic, with clears skies and a cool, refreshing breeze - this (and two coffees) soon clear my sleepy head.
Arriving in Picton there's two hours to kill, so I head for some fish and chips with (ironically) two nice Germans I'd met on the boat. This is where an epic brain-fart started, lasting two days. I missed my one o'clock bus. I saw it driving past then realised. This meant staying in Picton for a night until the bus the next day! I got on the intercity website and booked a bus for the next day.
Turns out Picton is beautiful, with a pretty little harbour and quiet town. The YHA is like someone's house from old times. It was full of characters: a hippy Dutch motorcyclist, an 86 year old Englishman (just recovering from a stroke and going against his doctors advice not to travel) visiting his nephew, a young Dutch guy with a serious speech impediment, a slightly crazy Swedish lady and a down-to-earth Irish dude from Cork (the only place I've been to in Ireland). I spent the afternoon walking in the hills and lazing about in the sunshine near the harbour.
Next day I go to get the bus at 1pm and the driver says that my name's not on the list. I tell him that I definitely booked it and he calls the head office. He tells me that I'd booked the 9am bus, and that was long gone! He laughs at my stupidity and kindly lets me on the bus. *brain fart!*