What do they eat, when they can’t get Hobbit?!
Early start, and some final farewells before taking the coach to the dock. We said goodbye to our awesome coach driver Ray, and (eventually) boarded the ferry which would take us to Picton in the South Island.
The ferry ride was 3.5hrs, but with the waiting around before and after, it was the first half of the day. It was a fairly uneventful cruise, as a lot of us were pretty tired and slept for a lot of it. Some cheap food and a long while later and we arrived.
Most of our group had booked to do the optional Kayaking activity down the river where the Dwarves floated in their barrels, so we drove straight over to that. We paired up and after a brief verbal training session, we jumped straight in and set off. Some people struggled quite a bit, we even had one pair hit a rock and capsize which was scary, especially since one of them had a leg injury which meant she wasn’t a strong swimmer. Luckily they were okay, and we continued on.
It was pretty fun, especially when you hit the rapids and get propelled forward and bounce around a bit. Unfortunately we only went a short distance, before dismounting and listening to a bit of the presentation about what was shot where. Then back into the kayaks for another short journey and before we knew it, it was over. I would’ve liked to have had at least an hour on the water, but it probably only totalled 15 minutes. Also the mosquitoes were everywhere. Somehow I made it out okay though.
As we were prone to getting wet (being around water and all), I left my camera on the coach, so no photos sadly. Only the few that others took.
After the kayaking, we drove to our hotel in Nelson and all settled in. I tried to get in to do my laundry (desperately need to), but the machines were in use so I’ll have to try tomorrow. Also I was super hungry as I hadn’t eaten much at lunch, which was at about 11am for me, so I walked down to a nearby Turkish restaurant which was highly reviewed, and feasted on a delicious mixed grill. It was still early in the evening, so I had a walk around town.
Nelson is very nice, quite a small town. It was very quiet and peaceful, even in the main street. There is a nice river that runs through it, a park nearby, some quaint little streets and houses, and all surrounded by big green mountains and forest. I took a few random shots with my phone.
Upon returning from my walk, I ran into some of the group in the hotel lobby and ended up joining them for drinks. They then headed out to get some dinner at an awesome pizza place, Stefano’s, and I tagged along, even though I was extremely full. It was only a short walk away, and it was situated on top of a classic-looking cinema. They had great old music, movie posters lining the walls, and super cheap, large, delicious traditional pizzas. Super friendly staff too, they even gave us complimentary muffins for dessert which was lovely.
Tomorrow is a nice sleep-in, and we get to fly in some helicopters in the afternoon! Excited! Should be more photos then. I sleep now.