Jim & Janice's Lost Their Minds Tour travel blog

We rode the TransAlpine train through the Southern Alps with spectacular views all around us. We climbed up to Arthur's Pass through dense rain forest - very little snow on the top and then descended to the eastern side. The alps, of course, cause all the rain to be dropped on the western side of the island and when on the east, you are suddenly and dramatically in arid land. Rolling dry, scrubby hills, followed by irrigated farm land. Very beautiful. Every small town along the way boasts of a bus ride to tour the Lord of the Rings sites. With luck, our regular bus driver points out the locations for us. We gather they filmed all over NZ!

The following day, we were back on board the train for the coastal tour up to Blenheim. We watched the seals lounging on the rocks and visited the town, Havelock, where Rutherford, the atom splitter grew up and went to school. Every little village wants their claim to fame.

We are in Nelson now. We were expecting to be beaching, kayaking etc in the Abel Tasman park, but it is just chucking with rain here. We may have to resort to doing laundry and getting our hair cut! Went for a big walk and got soaked to the skin - but it is a warm rain! Now in an internet cafe with no photo capabilities. Darn!

Does anyone know what a "Panel Basher" is? This is Jim's favorite new expression.

Until the next internet cafe...

J and J

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