Thursday, January 15, 2009

We had a lovely last few days on the South Island. When we left of we visited the town Hokitaki. It was a very artistic town. We stopped and watched the glass blowers at work and it was a very fascinating art. These fellows were quite young, but very skilled at their craft. It was very hard to leave the shop not having purchased anything.
We kept going further north and stopped at the pancake rocks.These rocks resemble huge stacks of pancakes and the geologists have not come up with a logical explanation for their formation. We headed to Westport, it touted it self as a typical Kiwi town. It had a lovely town hall, huge wide streets and the best backpackers hostel we had stayed in. The room had a sink; this was a huge improvement on the last place we had stayed, where there was not even a bedside lamp (meaning when you are reading in bed you have to get out to shut off the light once you have almost fallen asleep reading, I hate doing that) Westport had a lovely big long stretch of beach which was empty, we strolled up and down searching for interesting rocks.
The next day we headed for Nelson.
It is a lovely drive through the Buller Gorge. In one spot there was long swinging bridge and a display about the earthquake damage that had occurred in the area. You could still see the effects on the hillsides, very interesting. The road wound around the side of the hills, very curvy and dangerous. In several spots the road would go down to one lane around the tight corners. There was one place where the rock actually overhung the road. The tourist pamphlet claimed this is one of the most photographed places in New Zealand.
We are at our chum’s home in Nelson at the moment. We are enjoying their company and the fact that we can be in one place for a number of nights. We are just visiting and going on walks with them having a rest from haring about the country looking at the sites. We will leave on Sunday to catch the ferry to Wellington on Monday from Picton. Not sure how many days we will spend getting back to the boat but I am getting anxious to be home again and have worked up some enthusiasm for getting some major boat chores done, cleaning and polishing the deck and doing the bright work.
It is the height of the summer here. People are swimming in the ocean, the fruit is ripening, and you can get strawberries, cherries and apricots at the road side stands. The sand flies are out as well and I find them particularly vicious. It has been hot and sunny for most of our visit so we certainly picked a good time to go traveling. Hope the winter isn’t being too vicious wherever you are!!
Note the poor sailboat, sitting on the mudflats when the tide went out!!