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Published: January 28th 2008
We started with the biggest of intentions! After crossing over to the south island, we drove right off the ferry and toured around Queen Charlottes' Sound which was a squiggly road, even on the map! It had insane views of the green gumdrop hills and piercing blue waters of NZ! As we were weaving back and forth (and back...and forth) climbing up the side of the mountains, then back down, we knew that the south island was going to WOW us like we've never been wowed before! We stopped at a rest stop to have lunch with a view, and parked the Tron on the flattest surface we could find so that there wouldn't be any domestic injuries this time! We made our usual delectable sandwiches - chock full of fresh vegetables and of course avocado spread - and took our snack and beers up on a 20 minute hike until we found THE SPOT! WOW, what an amazing reward for such a short hike! We enjoyed our lunch and were surprised to see very few people while we were up there! not to mention that as breathtakingly beautiful as all of the NZ scenery is....there are NO people living around
these lakes and coves and views (only 4 million in the entire country!) We believe there are about as many visitors in campervans as there are locals!
Our goal was to get up to Abel Tasman National Park and do an ocean view hike that afternoon, but then....we found Nelson! We rolled into Nelson and Mason spotted a sign for a jazz festival that day! Awesome! We pulled over in town to a spot where we saw a lot of cars parked and started following the people, thinking thatś where the festival might be - imagine our surprise when at the end of the road we found a motorcycle street race instead! Nice! We stayed for one race (as I commented on the slopping racing lines - thanks to all my training from my dad!) and then asked the race coordinator where we could find the festival. It was at a local park, and very VERY nice! it was a huge sloping hill with the stage at the bottom, free to get in (asking for a gold coin donation which is only $1-2) and full of people with lawn chairs and picnic baskets of food, wine, and FUN! We
grabbed a bottle of wine and settled in for some great music and people watching! I noticed the balloon hat lady right away...lucky mason let me go get one...and wasn't embarrassed to be near me with it on! Good job everyone! i really wanted a monkey-palm tree hat, but the kid who was making mine said he didn't do monkeys, but would i like a stegasauras? SURE!
Afterwards, we decided to stroll into the main street of town and support one of the bars that had sponsored the jazz festival - it was important to show our appreciation of the event! Our waitress was a nice girl from canada, and she kept the large beers flowing for us for....well....many hours. As i sat there in my stegasauras hat, we had many a deep conversation about life, interspersed with interruptions from random locals that wanted to be my friend because, well, because my hat was so cool! As the night wore on, the jazz festival moved to the bar - the really neat part of the festival is that each day it is in a different park and each night, different bands go to venues all over town! Mason and
I moved inside and met a couple of other travelers (who were also interested in my hat!) The girl was saying that she would never have the confidence to wear such a hat!!! Which, of course, completely puzzled me! I tried to explain to her that wearing the HAT, gives you the CONFIDENCE, and then I said, "Like this!" and I walked up to the jazz band and started dancing and singing along with them! (Mason, why didnt you take a pic of that?!) The singer was a "Pat" - we couldnt be sure if it was a boy or girl, so we called them the He/She Band. I was having a great old time dancing and singing along...and then when the song ended I was grinning...waving to the crowd....and turned to the singer and said, AWESOME! What are we singing next!? To which He-She said, Um, you're not. You need to go sit down. BOO HOO! Oh well, at least i demostrated CONFIDENCE to our new friends!
When i got back to the table, Ryan had our bill, which was $250!! YIKES! we must have had fun! We started our walk back to the Tron, which was an
adventure in itself! At least we didn't get lost, but we definitely got in a nice brother sister hitting and pushing fight! Mason claims I pushed him into some bushes, and then I think he pushed me over a short wall....See pictures.... All I know is the next day I had a whopping bruise on my arm! BrotherS!!
Oh well, I guess tomorrow we will go to Abel Tasman and hiking! 😊 As for now.... We Heart Nelson!
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