So.. Friday was Waitangi day – which celebrates? Commemorates? When the English gained control of the NZ by offering the Maori citizenship in return for relinquishing their sovereignty.. (on 5th Feb 1840).
But of course, what’s really important is that we get a Bank Holiday :) So off to Nelson to visit Kirsten (who is the 1st cousin of my 1st cousins husband – and the 1st cousin of Jonathan Carr who we went canyoning with..) easy right?
So off to Nelson, lovely drive up.. well I was asleep for most of it after being out at karaoke with Rachel and Nate the night before! Got up and into our hostel – the Green Monkey.. and then headed into the town to get our bearings and meet up with Kirsten – which we duly did at 6pm in the pub, though were only drinking refreshing lime and bitters..
Off to an *excellent* (dingy looking) Thai place – forget the name.. has tables for 6 people! but does take out too. Great food though – was recommended by one of the people in the hostel.
Nice long walk along golden beaches (have got to get back up and do the Abel Tasman walk…) and then an early night.
Sat – checked out the market – bought my PolyPros.. basically thermal underwear that all kiwis wear when hiking… it looks odd, but seems to work. Always very bright stripy colours, pics to follow eventually!
Off to the trailhead then, the AA sign at the start said ‘1 in 5 grade, experienced drivers only’. I was more worried whether the car would make it up..
Here’s a pic
But it did, though I didn’t find that ‘Cars coming down the hill should give way’ was in operation much..
The hike to the hut that we were staying in was through more beautiful beach forest
Seeing as I had my backcountry pass ($65) the hut was free for the night – it’s a really excellent card that one – you can use any hut in the country for free (except for ones on the Milford Track and the other great walks..) Met a guy called Bob there – (Bob Negryn) – a photographer, infact if anyone is in Dublin and feels like dropping in, a couple of his pics are on display in The Royal Hibernian Gallery – 2 Ely place.. might be worth a look!
A pretty cool evening, polished off the wine, which was great, and then a moonrise
Oh, met a bloke wot works for DOC (Dept. of Conservation) pretty interesting guy. I was asking him were the stoat traps…
…making any difference. Not much was the answer. They want to spray these pellets – called 1080, but they kill off all the nasties (Stoats, Possums) and deer.. and there’s a pretty strong hunting lobby. But apparently a huge amount of wildlife and fauna is slowly being taken over by imported animals..
Off early the next morning, and a long drive (via more excellent fresh tomatoes and stuff) home. Had a horrible scare driving home.. I will have to chalk it up to experience.. back luck to even get into the situation, but flying home, came to a “FORD!” sign.. so a ford.. should have guessed it would have water in it (place is so dry at the moment) but it looked more like a humpback bridge was the real danger, anyway, as luck? would have it, at exactly the moment I went through it, a huge articulated lorry did too, completely covered the windscreen in mud.. couldn’t’ see a damn thing with a huge amount of oncoming traffic. I’m not at all proud of getting into the situation in the first place, but am glad to have got through it unscathed… but if anyone is passing through Fords again.. I would recommend putting on your windscreen wipers preemptively ….
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