The South Island
Trip Start Feb 25, 2006
47Trip End Feb 25, 2007
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Where I stayed
Hope you are all well?
Firstly, may I take this opportunity to say a huge CONGRATULATIONS to my good friends Kat & Dan whose new arrival Dylan entered the world on 11th April 2006. I am so, so, so pleased for you both and am looking forward to seeing more photos soon!! Enjoy the start of your family life!
Secondly, I have finally managed to upload some photos from my East As trip, so you might want to take a look at my previous few entries if you have time to get an idea of the things I did and saw. Hopefully they have come out okay...
So, I am now in Nelson, in the north of the South Island
I'm staying in the Nelson YHA which is nice - the YHAs are all broadly the same really so I might try something different at the next stop. At least I know what to expect though, I am very impressed at how clean they all have been so far (touch wood...).
Yesterday I did a trip to the Abel Tasman National Park. It was an absolutely amazing (still over-using that word!) day. The scenery was absolutely stunning and we were really lucky as the weather was gorgeous. Nelson is known as "the sunshine capital of New Zealand" and yesterday the weather certainly didn't disappoint - the sun was shining all day, which made a very welcome change!
I met some lovely girls on the trip - Claire (from Bath) and Deborah & Valentina (from Sardinia). All of them are also on the Magic bus as well so have made some more friends for the rest of the journey which is good. We got on a bus from Nelson to Kaiteriteri, where a boat picked us up and took us on an hour cruise up the coast to Torrent Bay. We hopped off on the beach and started the walk back down the coast to a place called Marahau (which we had passed on the way up in the boat). We were told that the walk should take approximately 4 hours, but as it was high tide we had to take a long detour and the walk ended up taking 5.5 hours. Phew-eeeee, was it hard work!! There were some really steep bits through bush and parts of rainforest, and it was so tiring, but we didn't want to stop too much in case we missed the bus back and got stranded in Marahau overnight! We were rewarded with some stunning views though which made all the effort more than worthwhile (have uploaded some photos of the scenery). At the end of the walk we sat in the cafe and treated ourselves to hot drinks and cakes - I think we deserved them!! I surprised myself by doing the walk, although I guess I didn't really have much choice but to complete it as there wasn't anyone who could come and pick us up halfway!
On the bus on the way back I had a bit of a 'moment' where I thought "I love this trip and I'm so lucky to be out here doing this!" - it got quite emotional
Today is my last day in Nelson before I get on the bus to Greymouth tomorrow. I met up with Claire this morning for a very tasty brunch, and as it decided to rain all day (boo!) we decided to head to the nearby Bead Gallery, which is a shop that contains thousands of jars of beads so you can make your own jewellery. We spent a good few hours in there and had a great time - no prizes for guessing what most of you have for birthday presents now!! :-) I have decided that my future career needs to involve horse riding and jewellery making. I am a bit stuck for ideas, but if you think of any do let me know!
So that brings me to the here and now. I've had a great few days in Nelson, it's a lovely place that i am glad I have had the opportunity to visit. I am sure there's plenty more wonderful places to look forward to as I continue through the South Island - of which you can be assured I will keep you updated!!
Look forward to hearing from you all soon with your news and gossip.
Love and many coloured beads