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April 18th 2012
Published: April 22nd 2012
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18-19th April ’12 Picton

The drive wasn’t too long today so we stopped at a small town called Blenheim to have a look around. There’s not a lot to say about it, it was nice enough but had quite a lot of empty shops and a war memorial which was fenced of due to earthquake damage.

We arrived at Picton about 2ish and easily found our hostel for the next 2 nights –The Sequoia Lodge. It was a small place with tiny private rooms and dorm accommodation. There was also an outdoor spa pool (which we didn’t try out) and its claim to fame…….free chocolate pudding and ice cream every night at 8pm.

We walked into the town for a look around, it is a very small place with the usual one main street but we did find the library which had free wifi for an hour! This was great news as I was finally able to upload the blog YAY for libraries! – all the previous internet access has been charged by mbs used or some such rubbish which means you can’t upload or download anything. Had a bit of a chat with one of the library ladies and discovered NZ is trying to privatise their libraries but meeting big resistance, fingers crossed they don’t succeed.

Walking down the high street towards the port area the wind started and soon advertising and sandwich boards were racing across the pavement, it was quite unreal and very hard to walk in.

After being blown back to the hostel we holed up in the tiny room and whacked the heater on to try and get warm. The winds never gave up so we drove out to find tea rather than walk it. We were so full from the Indian we had we couldn’t fit any chocolate pudding in – must do better tomorrow!

That evening whilst sat outside our room having a fag a man from the room opposite came over to introduce himself. Turns out he is a writer who lives in Nelson (where we are going to visit tomorrow) and was down here in order to have some time out and finish his novel. Well of course I was super interested in this and found out he writes crime drama and this isn’t his first novel he has had others published but when I asked him if I would of heard of him he said yes but when I asked what his name is he wouldn’t say! Just said he writes under a pseudonym. The conversation then got rather disjointed and bizarre and I then twigged he was half cut, I think it was when he said I see you are married, isn’t that always the way, the best ones always are that the penny finally dropped! He is also a professional drummer and has worked with Cleo Lane. Still it was an intriguing encounter and I would really like to find out who he actually is!!

18th April ’12 Day trip to Nelson

Well booking in one place for 2 nights so having the opportunity to sleep in if we wanted to didn’t quite work out! The bed we slept in was a bloody nightmare it was liking sleeping half way up a mountain the slope was so steep, I spent the whole night tossing and turning and must have dozed off at some point because I woke up to the sound of someone in another room being violently sick - several times.

So we were up bright and early and

Picton Harbour
off on the extremely winding road along the coast high up above the sea. The views were amazing and there were lots of viewpoints to stop at and take in the sights of the many coves, bays, inlets and sounds on the way.

The road eventually calmed down and made its way down to sea level. When we came across the tiny town of Havelock we had to stop for a look, after all it was the self-proclaimed ‘Greenshell Mussel Capital of the World’ so how could we resist?!! The customary one road had several restaurants and cafes all serving the famous mussels cooked in a wide variety of ways, in fact there was almost more places to eat them in than there were houses. There was also a memorial area to Rutherford a famous physicist born in Havelock.

As we were driving out of this tiny place we acquired our next set of hitch hikers, a young couple who were laden down with rucksacks, bags and a guitar and headed to Nelson. Luckily the boot was empty so they managed to fit in fine. He was from Canada and she was from Portugal – they met in

On the way to Nelson
Australia and were now a couple. They were real travellers, they had been on the road for 18 months and seemed to have spent most of that time in Australia – working and travelling. Neither of them had any intention of going back home at any time in the near future. They had to stick to countries where they could work as neither of them could afford to travel without it, which was a shame because they really wanted to go to Asia. They were a great pair and we had a good laugh with them and a big hug when we dropped them off.

Amazingly as we were going into Nelson we spotted our 2 Danish friends waiting on the opposite side of the road trying to get a ride, we tooted and waved and they recognised us and waved back – small country!

Nelson was a bigger town, but not big by our town standards. We had some lunch and a walk about and the place had a really nice feel to it.

We wound our way back to Picton and fortunately made it there before the sunset. That night we discovered the local pub

On the way to Nelson
did bargain $10 meals, sold real beer!! and the locals were friendly, we even made it back to the hostel in time for chocolate pudding and it was pretty good.

That night we spotted a very subdued looking writer who just about managed to say hello!

Additional photos below
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Nelson Nelson

The church

On the drive back to Picton

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