Overland from Christchurch to Golden Bay in Pohara…

Yesterday was our longest drive, and unfortunately it was not a day to stop and take pictures. We drove over Lewis Pass from Christchurch to Pohara, and had to be in Pohara at 6:15 to meet our hosts for the potluck we were going to. We left late enough that we really didn’t have time to stop, so we didn’t. It was a seven-hour drive, with two five minute stops for gas.

The countryside looks a lot like the Sierras, although there’s less granite and more limestone. Most of the timber is farmed, however, giving the trees a rather combed look — they’re all the same height and planted in rows. The road into Motueka, off the pass, comes down this narrow river valley that’s farmed. It’s a lot like the river valleys in Monterey or Half Moon Bay, coming off the hill, just longer. Montueka is a small beach town, and definitely has the coastal beach feel.

We had a lovely time at the pot luck attended by about ten other Quakers held in our honor last night. We spent time talking about Pacific Yearly Meeting, the Quarter and its corporations, and the work that our meeting does, as well as some of the challenges our meeting faces. Golden Bay Meeting has been around for about thirty years, and is clearly a close-knit group. They have about thirty members, and meeting for worship each week ranges between ten and fifteen folks.

Today we retrace our steps before curving out to Picton to catch the inter island ferry to Wellington. We’ll return the rental car in Picton, and get a new car in Wellington — the rental company doesn’t let the cars go on the ferry; it’s too hard for logistics keeping the right number of cars on each island.

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