Thursday, 7 January 2016

Nelson - the centre of New Zealand!

So we left Picton the next day (5th Jan) and caught the Stray bus to Nelson. We were annoyed as the head office had told us the bus was full to take us to the Abel Tasman but it actually had space for us but we had now reserved accommodation for 2 nights until they said the next available bus was so we had ton continue with our plan.

On the way to Nelson our bus stopped at a Vineyard in the fanous Marlborough wine region and we did some free wine tasting which was a nice surprise! Then continued on to Nelson where we checked into our not so great hostel but it would do. We had then arranged to meet with a friend we had first met in Australia when we were working in Corrigin. Ivana the Serbian-Swede, with her Aussie/Kiwi boyfriend. So we met at a bar and had a really nice afternoon catching up with them.

The next day we had a full day to play with so after being locked out of our hostel kitchen until midday (as they were cleaning it but it was a bit of an inconvenience as we couldn't have breakfast!) We had lunch and then made off on a short hike up to the geographical centre of New Zealand which is also a good view point for the city. We then decided to walk to Tahunanui beach (ta-hoo-na-noo-ee) which was a good 45min walk! We then just spent the afternoon there on the Tasman Bay.

The next day we were due to get picked up by our Stray Bus to go to Marahau in the Abel Tasman however there was a big summer storm due with flood warnings so we decided last minute to cancel this and instead head up early to Takaka where we had planned some WWOOFING on a 700 cow Dairy Farm. We would just be doing some painting of rooms and gardening but would also get an insight into a working dairy farm which was cool. Plus Pierrick really wanted to go to Takaka to meet the famous Wizard or Gandalf as everyone knew him who was living in this hippy town. So it seemed like the perfect place to WWOOF for a bit and see the area before heading back with the Stray bus to the Abel Tasman when the weather was better.

So we cancelled our Stray Bus and booked a bus to Takaka for that afternoon, informed our host we were on our way. Before we set off we did a little shopping as we needed lunch food as they provided breakfast and dinner but no lunch and we went to burger king for a value meal - well Pierrick did, and I happened to bump into Dennis - a guy who I had volunteered with at SAELaos back in my earlier travels! It was totally random to be in the same place at the same time, 3 years later! So we had a quick catch up before we had to leave and then after saying goodbye and hopefully to see him again, we set foot over the Takaka hills at 3pm to our next WWOOFING experience!

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