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Published: April 8th 2023
Oamaru to Nelson and homeward bound
Our hotel in Oamaru turned out to be a lovely Victorian white stone building that echoed the town’s historical importance. We sat in 2 leather high-backed winged chairs by the fire and felt very grand. Oamaru was an important port in days of yore and was the centre of the world’s provision of frozen lamb….until the railway made the journey to Picton and then Wellington shorter than by sea and the importance of Oamaru dwindled. It's now deemed to be the home of steampunk and we have yet to discover what that actually means. Quite a lot of odd murals and statues and figures dressed in black, but we’re still none the wiser.
We travelled northwards along the pacific road to Christchurch, where we visited the botanic gardens and revisited the lovely riverside market for breakfast. Dinner at the famous 27 Steps was fab and then we headed off northwards again on the bus through our familiar stomping grounds from earlier in the trip.
We remain full of admiration for the road and rail engineers who keep repairing the railway and the pacific road as it is regularly demolished by rockfalls from
one direction or advances from the sea from the other. The corridor of usable land seems to be getting smaller and smaller and at some time there will just not be enough space for the road and the railway. But for the moment, they remain optimistic and keep filling in the gaps.
We spent the journey looking out of the bus and revisiting the locations of earlier adventures..., there was the spot where Jaydon and we were stopped by the police, there was the spot where Jaydon nearly ran into the back of the police car, there was the place where we first met Jaydon, and there was the spot on the Clarence River where we finished our rafting trip. There was Clarence River Rafting HQ (couldn't see Jordie), there was where we stayed in Havelock etc etc until whoosh we were back in Nelson in the good old YHA.
A lovely evening with Ellie and Jamie at the Anchor ...a very posh restaurant in Nelson with green lipped mussels and octopus for starters. We are trying very hard not to be sad that this is our final weekend of the trip and in particular that we will
be saying goodbye to "Team Jellie" tomorrow. Jamie is being very patient with his daft old Mum holding his hand and sneaking a cuddle here and there and obviously I am being very restrained in that department.
We spent our last day having a barbeque in the park and an evening walk along the beach where Ellie and Jamie practice their kitesurfing. Lots of meaningful chats and lots of memories made. A tremendous time with 2 tremendous young people. Don't get me started…….
And we are home. Via Auckland and Adelaide and Doha, with both of us picking up covid on the way.... a tremendous trip but always good to be home.....
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