Last night we took the ferry to the South Island at 6:15 (give or take 30 minutes for a delay). We it was dark when we got to Picton, which meant we got to take some photos during sunset in the sounds which was pretty cool. When we got to Picton we headed to a motel where we stayed for the night.
This morning we went for breakfast at one of the local cafe's and then headed to sunny Nelson - where it was sunny when we arrived but began raining by the time we left.
The guys have the pack in pretty much sorted now, and for a change the venue was set up properly, so I left them to it and caught up with a friend for lunch.
We had a good turn out in Nelson which was great, and the audience seemed to lap up the session - particularly the spatial querying in SQL Server 2008 - which is not surprising given that SQL Services are based there.
We headed off after the session - Chris wasn't feeling well, so I got behind the wheel. When you head out down the west coast, you'll find that if you are used to driving in the North Island that there are very few vehicles on the road. You may also find that there is lots of road works. We are convinced that there is a link there somewhere. On this one day we encountered more road works than on the entire North Island leg of the tour combined.
On the way to Maruia springs we stopped at the Maruia Falls and took some photos and video. The falls are well known to Chris who took the opportunity to talk about "big waterfalls" again, and also how he has kayaked down them (Chris is the outdoor adventurer among us).
If you've never been to Maruia Springs, its worth an overnight stop. They have no cellular coverage on either network, no phones in the units and a thermal hot spring in the mountains. Its kind of nice and unnerving (for us geeks) all at the same time. No resort area network for us here.
Tomorrow its off to Christchurch as quick as we can to post our blog posts and get back to civilization. We are looking forward to a good turnout in Christchurch, and we know Chris Fairbarn is looking forward to presenting too. See you there!