Dan In The South Pacific 2006 travel blog

Nelson Cathedral

Me Sea Kayaking (I am in the front)

Split Apple Rock

Kaiteriteri Beach

I will not be working here, but I found it anyways

So the first night in Nelson was a nightmare. The seniors were not really hospitable and if they hadn't checked out the next morning I would have. At least if they had acknowledged that I was in the room and said hello when I said hello things would have been okay.

I walked around town over the 3rd and the 4th and the city has some interesting bits. There is a big "Art Deco" style church that looks neat. I don't know what "Art Deco" means but it is a buzz word in NZ. I didn't go in because I think I owe a few too many "Hail Mary's". The goldsmith who designed the "One Ring" for Lord of the Rings owned the shop here. He designed the ring and then died in late 1999, but his sons now run the shop. There is also Short Street which is a row of restored historic buildings from the late 1800's. I booked a sea kayaking trip for the 5th and will get a chance to see the coast of Abel Tasman National Park which is neat. I have noticed a lack of flowering plants outside of planting boxes so maybe I can see some different vegetation. I am glad the seniors left because I got 2 Irish girls as their replacements who had things to talk about and weren't pacing around and mumbling like Milton from the movie "Office Space". This makes the dorm a little more bearable.

Once again, I am not sure what I will do for the time until I reach the orchard. There seem to be a few options but I may have to break the bank to do them. There is a climbing company in Nelson, but if I want to go rafting on the Buller River or go to Abel Tasman National Park I am going to also have to pay for transport.

I am starting to question the validity of my choice not to slow down the trip I took here. I have a pass to take the Kiwi Experience Backpackers Bus through to Nelson and I could have seen more of the North Island as I made it down and drawn out the trip, but if I ran out of money on the way or wanted to stay in one of the towns for a longer period I may not have made it to my job on time. Maybe it was a mistake, maybe not, we will see.

On the 5th of Feb I spent some money and went to Abel Tasman National Park on a Sea Kayak trip. I had to get out of bed at 5:20 am (ugh) catch the bus to Kaiteriteri (Kai-terry-terry in Kiwi speak). I passed through Motueka, the town I will be working in and it seems like a decent place, not too exciting but I am there to work and buy food, not to run wild. The kayak trip was a guided trip and was about 4 hours long. I felt a bit ripped off, the guide was a Canadian on a working holiday. He knew his stuff but I was expecting a Kiwi who grew up with the legends and paddled the waters for years, oh well. We went to "Split Apple Rock" which is a giant split boulder (many stories about it, ask me sometime), we toured some caves that you can paddle through at high tide and saw the coastline of the park. To prove that I have only a few problems with seniors, on this trip there was a lady who was at least 60 who was paddling on this trip with her daughter. She was tough and I was impressed that someone her age would do something like that. I was impressed with the beaches and the park seems cool but it has really poor access. This park has the majority of its access by water taxi from Kaiteriteri or other nearby small towns. If you want to go somewhere or walk the walking tracks you need to get a water taxi to take you to one of the beaches. It is different, but a bit of a pain in the butt. After the kayak trip I took the "Exhilarator" jet boat back to Nelson. This boat has a max speed of 37 knots (how fast is a knot Kylee?) and the ride was bumpy and a bit wet. I got back just before dinner. It was a full day and worth the price, except for the lunch. I bought the optional lunch for $12 and it was okay, but where I come from a $12 lunch after an activity is a steak or a hamburger, this was a deli style lunch with a sandwich, a date scone and a couple of pasteries. I was really hoping for some protein.

Add this song to the playlist: "Normal Like You" by Everclear from the album "So Much For The Afterglow". My mental state was not exactly sound for the past couple of days, much to my Mother's dismay. I feel great and would like to say "Thanks for the Paxil" to Dr. Tilley.

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