On November 10th we packed up some clothes and a few other essential items and moved into the motels to start work. It always seems a bit strange to be moving out of Suzi. It was a lovely calm sunny morning – a sign of weather to come. Wendy and John were off to Melbourne, via Christchurch. They had a few things to sort out but eventually they were on their way and we were on our own. Thanks to the 5-day spell at the start of the month it didn’t take us long to get back into the routines.
Motel days are long and busy but satisfying in that we get to manage ourselves and we get to meet lots of nice people. The day starts at about 6.30am with papers and overnight emails and maybe cooked breakfasts. By 7.30am guests are checking out and then by 8:45am the cleaning staff start arriving. Then the phone starts ringing with bookings and there are invoices to charge out. Beds need to be stripped and there is lots to do in the units and in the office. Later in the morning the cleaned units need to be checked and finished and guests start arriving any time after midday. There is linen to restock and some laundry to be done. With silly trees that drop leaves and branches in late autumn and nuts in spring there is often a need to sweep the yard. At some stage there is time for lunch.
By late afternoon guests are still arriving and a start needs to be made on continental breakfasts. Cleaning staff need to be organised for the next day and linen reordered. Plus there are on-line bookings and emails to be sorted out. Eventually there is time for tea and a bit of relaxation – plus or minus interruptions. After 9pm the office can be closed and once we’ve prepared for the next day we’re ready for bed ourselves.
The weather for this 10-day period started out warm and got warmer. Then it got hot. By Friday it was 28 degrees and by Saturday it was 30 degrees. This with a warm wind. In the cooler months the first floor units were better because they got a bit more sun and were a bit warmer. By this week the ground floor ones were better because they got less sun and were cooler. Through the whole ten days there was only one evening where it was cool enough to require a long sleeve top on. Some days it was a bit too hot. The following week started out looking a bit quieter but then come Monday morning and the phone started ringing and we ended up busy for the whole week.
By the middle of the week it got hot again. By Wednesday it was 30 degrees and Thursday hit 31. By Friday when Wendy and John returned it was down to 28 degrees. It had been quite a spell of weather. We’d had a good spell in the motels and were ready for handing back over. Saturday 20th was a nice quiet time to talk over the things that had happened and not happened while they were away. We decided a few days of peace and quiet sounded like a good idea so we packed up and moved out. We spent the afternoon sorting out Suzi and ourselves. Eventually we dropped the car back at the motels and headed off in Suzi. We were off to the Sounds. The Marlborough Sounds are where people seem to disappear to relax so we thought we’d try some of that. We’ve only seen a small fraction so far. Wyn had been studying the map and Portage on Kenepuru Sound didn’t look to far away. So we loaded up the truck and we moved to …. Cowshed Bay …