My early morning walk through Picton’s marina and park lived up to the “perfect peace” banner that overlooked the water. However, with only a half day in Picton and no sense that I would be able to speak with any locals, as well as no land options for travel, I felt I had seen enough and headed back to the ferry for an equally dreary ride as yesterday. Back in Wellington, I asked about my sweater and learned that the booking company messed up. I didn’t need the sweater as the sun came out while I hiked to the Botanical Garden via the Bolton cemetery. The winding paths and attractions were good and I like that I could leave the park at the other side to catch a bus back to the city center then toward Weta Cave, the famous studio that brought to life many movie characters. Aside from photo opportunities, I learned about how things were made, then as I left the studio with my pack, one of the staff offered to take me to the airport and advised me to look for their awesome Smaug the dragon and Gandalf on Eagles displays. Even more astonishing were the sights in Christchurch, a city still recovering from a massive earthquake in 2011. Night crews continue to clear rubble and I saw numerous quarantined buildings as well as Re:START, a shopping center made of shipping containers, and a large “Transitional” Cathedral made from Cardboard which looked quite permanent.
It is best to directly contact a hotel/hostel to ask about lost items and other arrangements instead of a booking app because the place usually doesn’t read the requests fully, or the customer service may not understand or transmit the request properly. I’ve heard of travelers (somewhat unethically) use this oversight when to make unreasonable requests with their booking, then ask the staff to honor it.