It’s been another slow and relaxing day today but I’ve really rather enjoyed it. We had debated going for a long walk around but instead ended up sitting by the river for a while instead and watched the sea gulls and ducks bobbing about. That might sound like the most boring thing in the world to some people (whoever you are, you’re wrong!) but to me it was the perfect way to spend our last day in Nelson and I appreciated the peace and quiet of it all.
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This morning I was woken up at 8:30am by the sound of people rustling plastic bags and dragging things around the room as they got ready to leave. It wasn’t the best way to wake up and since we’d been watching The Hobbit until about 2am last night, I had been hoping to have a little bit more sleep, Still, there wasn’t much we could do so rather than huffing and puffing about how cross we were, we just got up and got on with the day. Ok, so when I say we got up, what actually happened was I read the news on my phone and stayed under the duvet for a while. The intentions were definitely there though! At about 10am we got up and went downstairs to make some toast which is when Codie noticed there was a tripod in the free food box. To begin with we thought it might have ended up there by accident, why else would there be a tripod sitting next to icing sugar and vinegar, but after a little fiddle it turned out that it was broken.
Walking to the shops today seemed a lot more fun today which I think was due to the weather being so lovely and warm. The sunlight bounced off the river as we crossed the bridge and it just felt like a really happy place to be. That’s not to say that yesterday was rubbish, of course it wasn’t, it was simply a more bright and fun place to be this afternoon. The shopping itself wasn’t much better, everything was still a bit too expensive compared to what we were used to in Australia. We managed to get everything we needed for today’s lunch and tea, tomorrow’s bus trip snacks and even for the time we’ll be in Franz Josef so it wasn’t too bad and we left quite pleased that it was all sorted. There’s apparently only one “proper” shop in Franz Josef and that’s a convenience store which tends to mean only one thing; everything is really, really expensive. Obviously we don’t want to rely on that for all our food as we’d have absolutely nothing left in our accounts!
As we walked back towards the hostel, we had a little distant look at the cathedral through the trees and then went to sit by the river for a bit. We’d bought some chips from Burger King on our way past to satisfy our hunger until we got back and the sea gulls seemed to know this, hovering around us expecting to be fed. Sadly for them, they only got one that was still green and looking a bit cross, if seagulls can do, they flew off into the water. The water levels had dropped significantly since we’d passed the first time and it was now shallow enough to expose a stony little island in the middle which is where all the birds seemed to gather. We thought that that would be a good place to feature in our timelapse clip of Nelson as the river is such a focal point of the town and the movement of the birds would make it more interesting. It actually turned out to be a lot better as a naughty black dog ran past as we were recording and made them all fly off. It really does look quite good and a little bit strange as a time-lapse! I’m really looking forward to putting everything together at the end of the NZ part of the trip as I’m more than sure that it’ll give people a real glimpse into the places we’ve been to and perhaps even inspire them to visit themselves.
After a little while spent watching the birds including two huge paradise shelducks that suddenly flew past at quite some speed, we decided we really needed to get back to put the food in the fridge. I would have loved to have stayed longer but there was quite a high risk of food poisoning if we’d have stayed so we really didn’t have much choice. Grrrrr. As we crossed back over the bridge, I noticed huge shoals of fish swimming around a rock and picking bits off it which was quite cool to see and we both watched them for a while before carrying on. Nelson might be quite a quiet little down but it has lots of nice little things throughout it and the river is no exception. I think the large number of people sat by it eating their lunches demonstrates this and just shows how lovely it is.
When we got back to the hostel it was time for lunch and I went through the prawns I had bought, ripping off their heads and their tails. It was truly horrible. Really horrible. It’s never really bothered me before but when
some guts squirt out and hit your shoulder, I think it tends to put you off them a bit! Smothering them in tomato sauce and watching Codie devouring his spaghetti on toast, I managed to force them all down and then sat back to enjoy the lovely garden atmosphere. It’s a really nice little place to sit and I really like the hostel looks after that part as so many places we’ve been just don’t seem to care about outside at all. It’s much better than having to stay in all the time and even though we were relaxing at the hostel, it still felt as though we were doing something. We spent a couple of hours out there, soaking up the sunshine and making friends with a tiny little green leaf bug before the breeze started to pick up and we headed inside. It wasn’t quite as busy as it has been over the last few days so it was lovely and quiet and I was able to get some things sorted on my blog. It also meant that it felt a lot friendlier as well and there was nobody staring at us for typing or coughing all over the place. Nope, it was just a nice, enjoyable time. At 6pm, it was time for our tea and we went off to make chicken mince and five beans pasta in a garlic and tomato sauce. Considering it was pasta, which I’ve come to detest, it was actually pretty nice and I enjoyed every mouthful. That could just have been because I’d only really had prawns and bread all day but it really was rather tasty.
It’s almost 8pm now and time for the free chocolate pudding and ice cream; our third and final helping. How sad. As we’re having to leave the hostel at just after 6am tomorrow morning, I expect that we’ll have a very early night so we’re ready to deal with that. The Tasman Bay Backpackers, hasn’t really been what I expected to be like but minus a couple of people, it has actually been a really nice place to stay. The beds have been incredibly comfy and cosy, the showers hot and there’s free pudding. What more could you want? In terms of Nelson itself, I think I’m going to be quite sad to leave as even though we haven’t had the busiest couple of days, it’s been nice to just sit back and appreciate being in New Zealand. Had we rented a car, I think we would have been able to do a lot more as there are some beautiful looking lakes nearby that we just weren’t able to get to. I can’t complain though as the next few days are going to be quite hectic; I’m pretty confident that our rest days will come in handy!