Sunday, 10 October 2010


Sunday 10th October 2010

MP3 track of the day: Wires - Athlete

Weather: Slightly windy but not to bad

No not the British naval hero, the place in New Zealand! Another day and another early start; catching the 7am bus to the ferry terminal meant getting up at 6am. At 6:30am I took my sea sick tablets in the vain hope that, two hours later, the ferry journey would be as pleasant as possible. I was sad to say goodbye to Wellington and the hostel there; I had enjoyed my time within New Zealands capital and it had been very cheap too (don't often hear that about a capital city).

Not much happened until I was on the ferry and an announcement came over the speaker to say that the ship would be leaving approximately thirty minutes later than scheduled (9am). This meant it was decking thirty minutes late and that put my ferry arrival time to close for comfort to the departing time of my coach to Nelson. The lady over the speaker said that if any passenger had any queries about onward travel then they should contact the 'I Site' (basically tourist information) and I did just that. The lady at the 'I site' said that coach companies had been notified and that they would be waiting until we had docked and I would be able to get my coach, phew!

The ferry was badly laid out with very few seats facing the windows (I need to see where I'm going as it helps with my sea sickness); it was too windy on the top deck and so sitting up there was out. I then started the un-thankful task of asking people, who were sitting with a window view, if the empty seat next to them was taken ... all were. I therefore had to resort to one row of seats back from the front and lean into the isle to make sure I could see where the ship was going.

The ship departed and luckily for me it wasn't long before a couple vacated their window seats and I hopped into one of them faster than a fast hing being really ... err ... fast. The journey across was okay; I remember seeing the board within the ferry terminal stating the weather was 'moderate' and I wondered what that meant. I found out that, for me, moderate meant that the seas were calm round the ports and the sheltered waters on the south island but huge waves would be crashing against the ship in the open waters between the north and south islands.

Once in the open waters the top deck was closed due to strong winds and I was counting my lucky stars that I hadn't decided to sit up there. As long as I was looking out the window I felt fine and soon enough we had left the open waters for the more sheltered inlet waters. Remembering my trip down the inlet waters of Alaska and Canada I new that the waters here were calm enough for me to wander around and so I took my camera outside and took a few shots. I have to be honest and say that this wasn't as picturesque as Alaska / Canada but it was nice all the same.

After a few photos I returned to my seat awaiting docking at Picton. For a final treat dolphins appeared around the ships bow and they followed us into the harbor; the only annoying thing was that these old people wanted to see the dolphins as close up as possible and so blocked the windows so no one else could see (Some people).

Once off the ship I hurried down to get my bag and try to get to the coach before departure time. Just as the lady on the ferry said the coach was waiting for me and even thought I had arrived a couple of minutes after scheduled departure I still managed to comfortably get on board.

During the coach and ferry journeys I was totally shattered and continued to fall asleep; I don't think it was the sea sick tablets, as I haven't felt this effect before, but probably more to do with all the early starts I've been having. Anyway it didn't take long for me to reach Nelson.

The YHA was just around the corner from the bus station and so I was there in no time making my bed, unpacking and meeting my room mates. After this I went back to reception to inquire about a trip into the Abel Tasman National Park. This was the whole reason I was in Nelson and it was the second item within the '31 things not to miss in New Zealand' within my guidebook. The decision was, do I go for a day trip or stay within the park for a night or two? Well this decision was actually a pretty easy decision; there are no lodges within the park and so to spend a night or two there I would have to hire camping equipment ... a no, no for me as that would be extra cost. Before I booked onto the day trip I had a small wonder around Nelson to think about my decisions.

Nelson is a small place but it seems to have everything you would want. The jewelers that created the 'One Ring' for the Lord of the Rings films are based here and you can purchase a replica ring yourself (which sounded well cool until I realized that it would cost a bomb, not have any elven text on it as that was added to the ring through CGI and not be that amazing after all). Whilst walking I decided that I would book another night in Nelson (three in total now) and go into the park on Tuesday, not Monday. I was shattered and since I had started traveling in New Zealand I hadn't stopped, and so I decided that tomorrow would be a day of rest with a look around Nelson ... and boy I was looking forward to a sleep in tomorrow (whereas if I had decided to go to Abel Tasman National Park tomorrow it was another 6m start).

I got back to the hostel and booked my trip; $50 which I didn't think was that bad considering it comprised of a coach to the park, a water taxi half way up the park and the a coach back to Nelson.

With it being Sunday most of the town was closed and so I decided to watch a film at the hostel which was free; their collection of DvD's was nearly as extensive as mine and it took a while for me to choose a film that I wanted to watch ... District 9 was chosen. I decided that tomorrow I may also watch another film on my lazy day.

Just after the film had ended (which was okay) a lady came into ask if the F1 was on any of the TV channels to which I replied no, sadly. She said that she was going to see if a bar had it on and I asked if I could join her. We arrived at a bar on lap two, with the safety car out and missing the big crash at the beginning of the race. Whilst in the pub I purchased my tea which cost $15; a little more than I wanted to spend but it was a big roast dinner with cake for pudding (both courses were lovely) and I didn't fancy going to find food at 9pm on a Sunday after the race had finished.

With the race ended (a bit disappointing really for Lewis) we headed back to the hostel where we parted. I'm looking forward to my lazy day tomorrow of doing, well nothing. That's not true, I'm going to look around Nelson, maybe try to work on my city photography skills and also maybe watch a film or two ... oh and I need to go food shopping for my trip into the national park and book my next port of call ... quite busy then!

Toodle Pip!

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