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Published: April 1st 2007
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I am sorry it has taken me so long to update my TravelBlog! I have been a traveling man and have only been home in Christchurch for 3 days out of the last 14……crazy!
This is my last week in Christchurch! I am scheduled to depart New Zealand and return to the U.S. on April 15th…….I don’t think that is going to happen. I am planning on returning to the U.S., but I just don’t know when….yet. I will be studying all day and night for the next 3 days as my final exams start on Friday and conclude on Saturday. I have four finals and have not been a very diligent student during the course of the semester, so I will be logging a lot of study hours over the next few days. I am hoping to update my TravelBlog with past updates when I need study breaks, but this might
be the last one until my finals are finished. In addition, my commentary associated with my pictures/vacation is a little skimpy—I hope to address this when I have more time.
I am skipping a little out of order and posting pictures/stories of my weekend in Nelson and Abel Tasman. The reason I am doing this is because I had the greatest weekend (and week) of my life and I want to share it all with you while it is still relatively fresh in my memory. Again, my stories will be skimpy as I am trying to prepare for finals, so I will provide the bare bones now and will add more later.
I hopped a flight (tiny, scary propeller plane…..heart was beating….fast) on Friday, March 30th to Nelson. Nelson is a beautiful city near the northern-most point of the South Island. Nelson is also the gateway to Abel Tasman National Park, which is considered by many to be the most beautiful place in New Zealand. After visiting Queenstown/Glenorchy, Kiwis told me that if I liked the beauty of those areas, I would love Abel Tasman. Our plan was to take a rental car from Nelson and to drive
along the coast of the Tasman Bay to Marahua—the last city prior to trekking in Abel Tasman. Along the way, we stopped in Richmond for some lunner, Kaiteriteri to listen to the mating calls of seals, Motueka to enjoy a cold tasty beverage and finally Marahua to set up camp for the night. The drive was very smooth and very scenic.
We partied and camped in Marahua and then headed out on a trek in Abel Tasman. We found an empty beach (literally, no one within miles of us!) and decided to stop our trek and enjoy the sun and surf. The water was unbelievably clear and was only shin deep as far as I could walk (literally, hundreds of meters off the beach I was still walking). We watched the tide roll in around us and turn our beach into an island—really cool!
We left Abel Tasman and headed back towards Nelson before deciding to stay the night in a cabin in Motueka. Motueka is a smallish town, but boy do they have some partiers….we went to a “nightclub”/cafÃ©/diner/hole-in-the-wall and met some crazy guys and girls that partied with us until the wee hours of the morning.
Marahua is the last piece of civilization before trekking to Abel Tasman National Park. After spending all day at Abel Tasman, we took time to snap one last picture at Marahua during sunset.
Everyone here is out for a good time and I have found that people love to party with me/us! My guess is that most people assume that I am an idiot based on my accent and feel remorseful for me, so they buy beers until I cannot see anymore. Really good deal for me!
We left Motueka and headed back to Nelson on Sunday, April 1st to catch the NCAA Final Four games. We walked into a sports bar in downtown Nelson and I asked the bartender if she would change the rugby game to the NCAA game—she obliged and even turned on the commentary for us. This is a big deal because NZ is rugby crazy and in 99% of establishments that I would enter, the bartender would tell me to piss off because rugby is so popular! So, we ordered some food and began watching the game when my travel plans would take an unbelievable turn….
As I was cheering on Florida, this amazingly hot girl walked in the restaurant and made a beeline for the bar to order a beer. My friend Sally saw my reaction and said, “uh oh….” She took a seat at
Abel Tasman National Park is one of the most beautiful places in all of New Zealand. Lush mountains fall into long rolling beaches.
the table immediately adjacent to me and asked me who I was cheering for. I said Florida; she said “boo.” I asked her why and she said that she is from Southern California and thus was cheering on UCLA. My jaw dropped. Within 2 minutes, I find out that this super hot blonde girl loves beer, basketball, bars and is from Southern California. I knew I was in for a good day. We talked throughout the remainder of the game and then made plans for lunch the next day after I dropped my traveling companions off at the airport (they had early Monday classes and I do not have Monday classes—yeah!).
I picked Brittany up for lunch on Monday, April 2 and we spent nearly 4 hours sitting on the balcony of “Saltwater” restaurant overlooking Tasman Bay talking about life. I could have sworn we had only been there a few minutes. She asked me when I had to return to Christchurch; I told her my flight was in a few hours; I asked her if she had plans over the next few days; she said that she would like to spend more time with me…….I told her I
Abel Tasman Foilage
The word I would use to describe New Zealand is "majestic." Everything is absolutely beautiful and Abel Tasman may be the most beautiful place of all!
felt the same way and decided to blow off my flight back to Christchurch. Ha! Crazy! I had never done anything like this before……
We then spent the next 3 days together touring the north part of the South Island…..I am going to end the story here because I do not want to jinx this incredible situation, but lets just say: 1) Before the weekend started, all I could think about was watching the NCAA National Championship and opening day of Major League Baseball (my favorite sports weekend of the year!!)—after meeting Brittany, I did not think about either one until I was on my plane returning back to Christchurch—I had completely forgotten about the games……; 2) I have never clicked with someone like I clicked with her—amazing unforced conversations all day and night for 3+ days; and 3) I had the best 3 days of my entire study abroad trip with her! She is an amazing and awesome girl.
I will post more updates as I get the chance during study breaks.
In addition, I am hoping to figure out when I am returning tomorrow morning, so I will most definitely post an update to let
you all know when I will be back in the glorious U.S.A.
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