Monday, April 4, 2011

Hanging around til kayak school - Nelson + that other little town

Ali: We got to the south island, as you recall, verrrrrry early in the morning after the night ferry. I drove for a while and then parked the car and we had a nap. Woke up and drove to Nelson.

In Nelson we had sweet accom - our first place with a little kitchen, and quite big for what we are used to.

The first day we were so tired from night-ferry fiasco that all we fit in was a little walk to the beach. That night I felt I might be "coming down with a little something."

The next morning I was still feeling "sick." Since I was having a sick day, and it was Caryn's birthday, we took the day off. We did nothing much, and then much later, we did an art walk around town. We treated ourselves to nice things all day since I was sick and it was Caryn's birthday. I think my birthday will be in India and Caryn will have a sick day there too. I highly recommend this, by the way. Maybe tomorrow will be your birthday! Caryn actually turned a year younger!

Art: we saw many lovely things, highlights include a giant knitted Jesus face and The One Ring To Rule Them All from the film. (Real one was destroyed in Mount Doom when we did the Tongariro Crossing.)

One very cool bookshop. We go to loads of bookshops.

Beach in Nelson. I have no pants because when we do laundry, boy oh boy, we do laundry.

Caryn says: This picture is for Michelle and Nicole. Sea Mustache? I think so!!


Ali says: These are "kiwiberries." I don't know if they're made up or what but they taste flippin good. They taste like kiwis, better than kiwis. And aren't endangered like the birds.

Which is fudge and which is soap? Wanted to eat them both. The fudge we went back for 2 more times and almost drove an extra half hour a few days later to get more. We restrained ourselves. Come to NZ just for this fudge!

Another stunning waterfall!

To get to the waterfall. Feels cool to cross those babies.

"A sheep!" This trail lead to sand dunes and a magnificent beach:

Up on some conglomerate cliffs. Poor Saskatchewan! One of our claims to fame is repeated in NZ.

Caryn, not getting sucked out to sea.

I took a wrong turn and Caryn said, "no you didn't, now we can go to that pirate coffee place." So we headed down the hill from this sign and found...

Pirate mocha with anchor at the...


Docked at the harbour for your caffeine needs.

By now we were out of Nelson and staying in the Golden Bay area. This is very near the top of the south island - NW. If you look on a map you'll see a sand bar reaching off the land up there, a "spit." We tried to do a spit hike but it was high tide, so no luck. We did do another awesome little hike though:

We found a magical place. It was rocks, in cool formations. Skinny high high parts, holes to look in, water shaped stuff, ledges, house type stuff. I said I wanted to live there and started saying, "this is where I'll have my storehouse" "this is where I'll keep my slaves"

and I went on and on, and then Caryn started doing it too, and she was ahead of me on the path so she was getting the best spots so i ran in front shouting

"this is where I'll have my harem!"
and her: "this is where I keep my cupcakes!"
"computer lab!"
"yoga studio!"

and pretty soon we were RUNNING the trail

and then we popped out into the carpark and I almost shed a tear because it was over.

If I lived in the area I would go there all the time and climb high high up and crouch and watch tourists way down below me.

The next day, we went back. We did the hike again.. and... my dream came true! I climbed way way up which was sweet as, and then, no lie - tourists walked by! The first two didn't see me and the second two glanced up, just as I, as Katherine so eloquently put it, "dropped, and their whole world went black."

Love you!


  1. I want a mocha with an anchor...will you bring one back for me, pretty please????

  2. It would be too hard not to drink it! Mochas are great here - waaay less sweet, but still choclatey..

  3. "Loads of bookshops" sounds like a phrase from Harry Potter. I think you are writing with an accent!

    Love love loved! the pictures. My favourites were of the sand dunes.

    This was quite an amazing post, actually. Bookstore, kiwiberry, waterfall, pirates all at once!


  4. Beaut pics. Sooo beaut. Sounds so fun! Espesh that you did it twice!

    Caryn, j'adore your glasses!!!! You ought to wear them more often!

  5. Loved the pics, loved the coffee places - yet another reason to visit NZ, loved your hike!

    The pic of the white things in the rocks is exquisite! Otherworldly! And the fudge. Or soap! love, Pat

    PS Kath, You are all sand dune fiends, I swear!