No worries, mom and dad … I am just in love with a beautiful beach and surounded by babies – mostly lamb (of which I may soon eat a few) and a baby seal … have some great pics … just not sure if I will be able to upload any in this grimy internet cafe …
But here in chronological order:
Flight to Nelson. Domestic flying in NZL is a bit like taking the bus in Berlin. No one wanted to see ID from me. I checked it at a terminal. But my bag on a conveyor belt and then walked on the plane – no security check involved. Why did I drink about a liter of water before boarding? Because I had just bought the bottle and then remembered security, so I drank it all … and then there was no security … On the plane the stewardess let two little girls help with service. Recruitment Air New Zealand style I would say. But then I am not sure if the girls were impressed when the stewardess got out the cleaning spray and polished her little work area spotless.
As I got of the plane I was greated by the representative or the rental car company: it really is called “rent a dent”. And it lives up to the name, my car does have a huge dent in one of the doors. It is pretty basic and I do miss central locks, cd-player and electric window controls. But it looks so old I get mistaked for a local by other tourists. Really handy because they move out of the way when I am stuck behind them on winding mountain roads.
Found the B+B without any problems. Very cute, close to the beach. Only problem when I got there at 7 the entire village was closed down. So – no supper for me.
Next day (I was able to sleep 8 hours again – haha to jet lag!) I had breakfast with some Aussies at the B+B. Since it was all over the news I was asked about the wall coming down, where I had been, how it is now … being an embassador for Germany. After this history lesson, I sprinted down to the beach to catch a boat (Abel Tasman Sea Shuttle). I was taken to Bark Bay beach and aranged for pick up 4 hours later at a different beach that was supposedly a 2.5 hour hike away. Well … I was to fast or the estimate is very … generous. I even did a number of breaks. Still, I was at the beach way to early. But the weather was nice and I guess it was good to just hang out on the beach for a few hours … I have had to wait for transport in worse places before.
On the track I made some interesting observations: 75% of the visitors were German – they all walked south. 5 % were French. They were all male and all walked north. A cultural thing? There were some really loud Americans (sorry guys) and some Kiwi kids on a school trip. If you see the pics you will understand my envy: My school trips took me to the local natural history museum – not to one of the most beautiful places with white beaches, clear water and lush forest. Sometimes life is not fair.
Back from the hike and after shower and some tea and reading I went to the local restaurant (way before 7, just to make sure) and had a nice glass of local white wine and typical fish and chips. All very good. Before this, my host said goodbye. I have the B+B to myself for the next two days. The fridge in the room was filled with breakfast supplies before they took off.
Today it was really windy and I decided I would rather not spend part of the day on a boat. So I decided to take my “rent a dent” for an outing. Honestly, I did not expect it would take two hours to drive 78 km – but it was well worth it. I drove to Golden Bay and spend most of the day on the beaches around Fairwell Spit – the northern most point of the South Island. And I fell in love with it. Has all a beach should have. White sand, some caves, some rocks in the water, seals to watch …ok, no cafes so. But also NO people. Instead I got take pics of a baby seal playing in a pool. (It will be hard to convince people that my pics were not taken at the zoo!). On the way back to the car I took some sheep pics. They are cute – but just as dumm as the Irish ones.
Driving back was less fun. It rained part of the way, but at least that way I got to very different impressions of the same region. Weather does change a landscape dramatically.
I might take a stab at hiking again tomorrow. But I will decide when I get up. The bliss of a long vacation – no not need to have a plan for the next day. I am gone not even a week but it feels like weeks already. And I really love this country. Hope it stays this way!
PS: uploading pics does not reallz work. Sorrz. I will try again and will update this post!