It’s been quite a calm and relaxing day today as we’ve spent most of our time sat on the comfy sofas in the hostel looking at things to do on the rest of our travels. We had intended to go for a longish walk around the little town but the clouds came in and it looked a bit rainy so we opted for a rest day instead. We’ve got another whole day to enjoy in Nelson anyway so I’m sure we’ll do something more interesting then and to be honest, I was more than happy to just sit back and make the most of a nice, slow day.
This morning we woke up at about 9am to the sound of people packing up their things and leaving. It’s to be expected that things like that will wake us up when we’re staying in hostels so that wasn’t an issue at all as I’ve become accustomed to it. I think I have anyway! We were a bit annoyed with the woman staying in the room as she wasn’t even leaving but still managed to make as much noise as was humanly possible without breaking anything before loudly walking out. Grrrrrrr. She even came back at one point, opened the curtains then wandered off again which really got on my nerves as she’d made us turn off the lights last night so she could sleep and yet didn’t seem to want to let us do the same then. It wasn’t the nice wakening I’d wanted but there wasn’t much we could do other than hope things would improved tomorrow morning.
After staying in bed for a little bit longer, very awake but too sleepy to move for a while, we got up, got dressed and headed down to the kitchen to make breakfast. It was beans on toast so not the most exciting of things but to us it was very yummy and gave us all the energy we needed to set off on our little walk to town. Nelson is apparently known as being the sunshine capital of the south island so it came as a bit of a shock to discover that it was actually pretty gloomy. Thick layers of clouds dominated the sky and were coated in patches of a deep and dark grey. Not quite the rich blue skies I expected but to be honest, it was actually really nice to not feel my face burning up despite all the layers of sun lotion and it definitely made our little jaunt a lot more pleasant. As we made our way into the centre, we crossed over a little bridge over the river with lots of seagulls perched on top. I was just about to get my camera out to get a picture when one of them made eye contact and pooed right next to us so we ended up just running away from them instead Nobody wants bird poo on their nice clean clothes even if it is supposed to be lucky and I certainly didn’t!
Successfully avoiding any poo-based incidents, our first stop was Countdown to buy some things for tea and some snacks to get us through the day. Everything was a bit overpriced though so we ended up just getting some crisps and chocolate rather than anything proper. It really isn’t the healthiest way of living at all but if we ate properly and had 3 decent meals a day, we just wouldn’t have any money left. It’s such a pain but we just have to survive one more week and a half until we get back to Brisbane where the food is more reasonably priced. Then we can enjoy fruit and veg again and I never thought I’d say that! Once the shopping was done, we wandered back down the road and past the river where we saw lots of ducks drifting about and seagulls staring at people eating picnics on the benches. I loved how cocky they were and could have stayed there for hours just watching but there were no benches free to sit on and it was a bit muddy to sit down on the grass. Well, there was one bench but it was opposite a man selling Nelson segway tours and after falling off one in Austria (part of a series of unfortunate events), I’m really not to keen on getting on one again anytime soon. I expect I will do again eventually but for the time being, I’m more than happy to leave a bit of a distance between myself and the dreaded two wheeled machine. As we walked back, I saw a little cat sat behind a fence and tried to call it over. I’ve really been missing stroking a puss cat after getting used to feeding the lovely strays back in Cardiff so it seemed like a good chance to. In a typical cat manner, however, this particular cat chose to just sit and stare instead and just watched nonchalantly as we walked away. Silly puss. He would have had the best strokes in the world.
Back at the hostel we spent the rest of the day sitting in the common area on the sofas. We had initially been sitting outside in the edible garden, yep, a garden where you can pick your own herbs and grapes and things, but the smell of smoke was just too much and we ended up inside instead. I was a bit annoyed as even though it was really cloudy, it wasn’t exactly cold however we just couldn’t appreciate being there when trying not to choke from all the fumes at the same time. I’m hoping that tomorrow we’ll be able to spend a little bit more time there as it seems a shame to not pick our own things and could be quite fun in a weird, fruit picking kind of way. Anyway, off we went inside and found ourselves a nice spot to sit in for a bit. I spoke to my sister Tish who has just travelled to Canada which was nice as I got to hear all about her first day. She’s currently 18 hours behind New Zealand time so it’s a bit confusing however 3pm in the afternoon seemed to be ideal there and so it worked out quite well. She seems to be really enjoying herself which was good to hear though I have to admit, the apartment she’s staying in looks amazing and I really am rather jealous. Travelling around the country is all well and good but after a while you tend to crave little things like baths and privacy and I’m really starting to miss them now. Lucky Tish! Whilst we were sitting there, a guy started coughing everywhere without covering his mouth and it really got on my nerves. I don’t know what it is about some people that makes them think it’s acceptable to spread their germs around, not even making an effort to stop it happening in anyway. It was really grim. This went on for most of the day and we ended up having to move to the other side of the room just to get a bit of distance. He still coughed on me directly as I walked past to go upstairs and even sniggered afterwards. Horrible, horrible person. We’ve not really encountered people like that before the whole time we’ve been away so it was a bit of a shock that there are some who really don’t seem to care at all and I have to say, I’m looking forward to getting away from it all again.
A few hours later and after a yummy tea of tuna pasta, it was time for more of the free hot chocolate pudding and ice cream. Just like yesterday it was delicious and it wasn’t long before it was completely demolished. Yum. You’re not allowed to use the wifi in the communal areas at this time as a way to encourage conversation which seems like a good idea but it just doesn’t seem to be working. People just sat in silence eating and then left once they were done. It’s a bit of a shame really as I’m sure it would have been nice to talk to others about their travels; nobody seems to be that friendly though and so it’s a bit intimidating to try and start a conversation. A few times I’ve found myself being stared at and even though I’ve made eye contact, they’ve just carried on until it’s incredibly awkward. Not wanting that to happen again and deciding to make the most of the showers being free with everyone distracted by pudding, we quickly washed up and headed upstairs to the room.
I’m now sat under the duvet, writing this blog and getting ready to watch a film on Codie’s laptop. The showers were really good (hot water, hooray!) and I’m enjoying being snuggled up nice and warm. The woman from this morning has returned and is sighing incredibly loudly again as though she wants me to stop typing but since it’s only 9pm, I’m not going to straight away. I have to say, as nice as the Tasman Bay Backpackers is both staff and appearance wise, the guests here don’t seem very friendly at all. It always seems a little bit awkward even walking past someone and you feel as though you are constantly judged for everything you do. Yesterday, for example, when we were enjoying our amazing fish and chips, a girl started at us the entire time and kept shaking her head. I’m not completely sure why but since we’d only just arrived at the place, it made me quite uncomfortable. Hopefully it’ll be better tomorrow and that it’s just me interpreting things wrong but we’ll just have to wait and see. We’re not here much longer so I’m going to make the most of what time we have left and just enjoy being in the little town of Nelson.