The best things we did were to go to the local cinema and seeing their plot of land.
The local Cinema is basically just a large living room with a fairly massive screen, DVD player and 10 sofas complete with knitted rugs
. we wrapped up warm as it was a little chilly inside and went to see a swedish film called "Saa som i Himmelen" (As it is in Heaven, Dir.Kay Pollack). It was fantastic- a bittersweet feel-good film with many of humanity's deepest sadnesses dealt with in new honest ways, exposing the heart of so many small minded communities and showing just how beautiful humanity can be. The actors were very convincing and conveyed the power of a well-scripted film. Its really really worth making the effort to get hold of this film ( a bit secular, a bit sad and a bit soppy- but great).
The other great thing was seeing My Bro's plot of land. He's got a few acres of land which is planned for a house sometime and it was fantastic to see so much space and potential- can't wait to go back and visit when its done. The negative side was that it reminded us just how hard it is to get land in the UK and to get planning- not to worry!
After a class few days with them we bussed up to Nelson, stayed briefly overnight then it was up to Auckland to pick up our rented Combi van for a whirlwind tour of the North Island.
We only had 4 days to spend in Hokitika with the Bro and Sis-in-Law, but we had a lot of fun and got to see the local area as well as spending quality time. The strange Pancake rocks of Punakaiki were different but their highlight was definitely that delcious pancakes with fruit and ice cream afterwards! We also did a lovely walk in the coastal areas with wetlands and bizarre trees then finished the day off with a wander up to some local hot springs just next to a local river. Unfortunately we forgot our mozzie repellent for the dastardly sandflies (little blood sucking flying varmint bugs) and got eating alive, poor lauren coming off worst with a lovely selection of about 25 bites on each leg!