Thursday, 16 June 2011

3 Weeks in Nelson

I came to the conclusion that I had more time than money and so I asked Antony, the hostel owner, if he had any work going for free accomodation. And do you know, it turned out he needed another pair of hands around the place. So I'm living in this hostel for the next 3 weeks and limiting myself to $100 a week before going off round the south island again. After that, I'm going to Australia, Perth, the suburb of Manning to become an au pair, which means I'll probably be doing some cleaning, cooking, teaching, childcare, and probably a heavy heavy dose of growing up.

It just so happens, after a google of Perth theatre societies, that there is a rather close one called Harbour Theatre in Fremantle, a bus ride away from Manning, and they're putting on a production of JANE EYRE!!! and so I emailed them, and now I have an audition! What's it called when everything just fits together at the right time? Wish me luck.

A very helpful lady at the Inland Revenue helped me fill out my forms so apparently I've now filed for my tax back. Of course, they won't even look at the documents until I leave the country and then it will take a large amount of time to get processed. And then, there's always the slim chance of actually getting my money from Solberge, but let's not hold our breath. Then, and only then, will my overdraft come close to being paid off.

I'd like to thank David Butler for his councel over facebook. That is my personal online chat record: 2 hours, and we had a lovely catch up, and I promise to come to Edinburgh when I'm back. Butler and Burge Reunite!

Anyway, I did not feel the earthquake so please don't worry. Nelson is safe and leafy and lovely and my home for the next 3 weeks.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Wondrous World of Wearable Art and Abel Tasman National Park

Above: Only Fools and Horses car in the Wondrous World of Wearable Art, Nelson.
Above: Abel Tasman National Park, view of Onetahuti.

Got the Abel Tasman Coach Line from Nelson to Marahau and arrived at 10.30ish. I left my stuff at the iSite and went off on the track. After about a 4 hour trek I got to Anchorage where I stayed the night in a hut and got half eaten by Sandflies. Bastards. My feet are now in one of Dantes circles from hell. I am seriously considering amputation. Anchorage Bay was pretty gorgeous and I was sat on the beach for ages, not another soul in sight. I did think I might have to stay in th hut all by myself which would have been awfully surreal and my mental health would have been affected had not 2 Germans come along in a kayak. That's probably the first time I've been relieved to see a German. We chatted until it went dark; all the time I was thinking "Don't mention ze war!" I didn't. They were awfully nice, and lent me a torch so I could read Brideshead Revisited before turning in for the night.

I got up at 8 and started off at half past. Somewhere on the way I must have lost my old black cardigan. Alas! old friend! It was in appalling condition anyway with far too few buttons and far too many holes to be considered useful. Ah well. I walked to Barks Bay and met a blonde photographer Kiwi lad and we had a spot of lunch with these ducks watching us the entire time. We were going opposite ways so we parted, and I walked the last stretch to Onetahuti, another beautiful long beach. The Marahau Water Taxi picked me up at 3 and I was out of there, gladly saying adieu to the evil, pure evil Sandflies. Chance would have it I met the photographer boy again being picked up at Anchorage, or was it Torrent Bay? Je ne sais pas. It turned out most of the people on the water taxi (ALACK! Not the fit guy I was sat next to) were going back to Nelson or Motueka on a bus, so I got on it too ($9 to Nelson) and so here I am again, in the same hostel, in the same dorm room, in the very same bed.

Above: View of Trafalgar Street from the Cathedral Steps, Nelson.
I really like Nelson and I'm tempted to ask the hostel man if I can work here for free accomodation. I just had a wander around today, and now it's sunny again Nelson is all the prettier. I went to Inland Revenue and got the forms for getting my tax back, but it turns out I worked across 2 financial years so this might prove tricky to get any money at all. I also had to go to the cinema because I left my mobile there last night and I only found out because they'd rung my mother from it and she facebooked me. Well done mum. The battle of technology has finally been won...ish.

Further plans: might join the Stray bus as it looks cheaper than getting the Intercity, plusit'd be easier to meet people. I did feel rather isolated in Abel Tasman, and given the time of year, the hostels aren't very busy. I might try other hostels to work for in Nelson if this one doesn't need me, just for a couple of weeks, the 3-4 weeks travelling, then staying, perhaps in Dunedin before going for my flight in Christchurch.

Oh, and a little dicky bird told me the Cobar staff were reading my blog and there has been "talk". Haha, you devils, I miss thee! Hope you're all well. My little voodoo do---sorry my little doll of Paddy got his hair wet so I might have to shampoo it at some point. He's quite a hit with the ladies...

Friday, 10 June 2011


Nelson, though unluckily rainy for me as it is the sunshine capital of NZ, is a lovely city. It also has the "centre of NZ" which I went to and overlooked the whole city. Beautiful, if rainy.

Today I went to the Wondrous World of Wearable Art, which rather randomly also has a large collection of classic cars including the Only Fools and Horses 3 wheeler, Austin Powers' Union Jack car and the car from the Back to the Future movies (I sat in that one). The rest of it comprised of this uncanny fasion show of dolls wearing frankly weird stuff. One of the dresses was the shape of a pregnant woman, other were made of metal coils wrapped around the wearer. I saw one bikini type top made of bath taps. Another dress was of giant sized upsidedown roses. Some were made of wood, other plastic and there was section of clothes made out of glow-in-the-dark material. It was all very theatrical and clever and I wish I could have seen one of the shows that they put on. Probably wasn't worth the $22 and the long walk but it's so rainy here now there's not much else to do.

Tomorrow I'm going to Marahau and from there I shall figure out how to do the Abel Tasman and if there is a way of getting to Golden Bay in a day.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Snout Track

I did the Snout Track yesterday and it was lovely. Far cheaper than the Queen Charlotte Track (as it's actually free) and you get the views of the QC Sound too. At a bench, I stopped and had some lunch but was creeped out by a random sheep that stared at me the entire time. Later on I met a man walking the track and he told me that it's name was Frederick and nobody knows how long it's been there or why it's on it's own.

I quickly discovered why people never stay in Picton long: there's not much to do. So I'm getting a bus to Nelson this afternoon, where hopefully there'll be more guests. I think there's only about 3 of us in this hostel. It's very nice though, and the owner is a lovely guy. I heartily recommend The Villa, Picton for all travellers.

Next, Nelson.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011


Above: Marlborough Sounds from the Interislander Ferry.

After a 3 hour Ferry ride I arrived in Picton last night. It felt very odd to be travelling again but you quickly get used to other people snoring and playing the guitar atrociously. It is significantly quiet compared to when I was travelling the north island. It's an odd time to be travelling, mid winter, but it's the only time I could have done it.

After dinner (pasta pest tuna concoction) I met an English guy travelling with a Japanese girl. Why is it when Brits get together they automatically start moaning about the establishment? It's cos we love a good moan. At one point he said 'I don't like the way England is at the moment so that's why I've come away'.

So I've managed to change my flights, but there was a charge, and I have to fly through Sydney anyway because there's no direct flights to Perth. It'll be cheaper than travelling from Sydney to Perth anyhow. So I have 7 weeks on the south island left. My word, how time flies. It'll soon come round, then before you know it I'll be back in the UK. I do miss it sometimes. I miss the tv. I even miss Holby City. But I'm not ready to go home yet.

I digress... Today I shall do the Snout Walk, so called because it follows a path along a promontory piece of the Marlborough Sound that look like a pig snout. Then I might do a tour of some sort tomorrow. Then Nelson.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Goodbye Eastbourne

Above: my last night with the Cobar staff.

I'm sitting in the room that has been mine for the past 3 months, and which shall now, after a vigorous clean, be given back to my cousins so use at their disposal. I'm not sure whether to be happy, sad or somewhere between the two, because I've grown to love living here. The Richardsons are a wonderful family. They are my family, and I hope we'll all stay in touch, and perhaps even see each other again some day.

Last night after work, we went round to Hannah and Ryans for some drinks and spontaneous card games. Pearl made me a leaving present, a key chain/voodoo doll of Patrick the pot wash. It's the best leaving present I've ever had. It's even got a belly button. Even though I burnt Ryan's hand on the kitchen lights yesterday he still gave me a big hug and wished me well. Ben Matthews, the Cobar black man, came aswell and I was hard pressed not to give him a big goodbye kiss he's so adorable. This obsession must end. Who else, oh! Tom Jones and Aiden, and even Chelle popped round so say goodbye, and let me feel her brand new breasts. Regrettably, I wasn't allowed a squeeze as she's still recovering from the surgery. As I was leaving the party, a strange thought occured to me: I will never see these people again. Mad isn't it? But that, as they say, is life, and so I left this bunch of freaks forever.

I will still have my little Patrick with me. Finally I have something to pratice my voodoo on.

Tomorrow I set sail mid afternoon and shall be in Picton for tea. After that, I have no idea what I'm doing. I have a vague plan involving an anti-clockwise route of the south island and perhaps some wwoofing along the way. Let's see shall we.