Today for the first time this trip we were in no rush and so it was a very leisurely start to the morning. Karen enjoyed the continental breakfast whilst I made myself some porridge.
We packed the car and started our journey to Nelson where we have booked to stay for the next three nights. The first planned stop on route was just before Havelock at a scenic viewpoint called Cullens Point. This was not well signposted off the main road and we initially missed the turning. It was up a long steep winding hill. We parked up and started what was supposedly a 550 metre walk. What it didn’t mention was the first part of the trail was quite steep on a gravel path. The final part was very steep with some steps and a lot of scrambling over tree roots. Karen found it very hard going both up and down with her knee problems.
The climb was worth the effort though. Looking one way gave a view back down to the town of Havelock over the water whilst the other gave a terrific view over one of the Marlborough Sounds which was beautifully picturesque.
We then drove back to Havelock where we parked and wandered along the Main Street which was nothing exciting. We settled upon the nicest looking coffee shop called the Sneaky Beach where we bought a Pot of Tea for two and had a scone each (savoury for me and sweet for Karen).
Whilst in the cafe we locked onto their Wifi to catch up on the Royal Scandal or ‘Megxit' as some of the tabloids are now amusingly calling it. Now I would consider myself a Royalist as I believe as a country we do get more value than their overall cost. I do agree that the number of Royals needs to be cut down to sensible level. I think the role of almost but not quite next in line is difficult, but firstly the Duke of York and now the Duke of Sussex are both making a right royal hash of it. The former I think is guilty of being very stupid and very poorly advised. The latter I think is still showing the aftermath of his mothers tragic death and the circumstances surrounding it. I think the current situation is a knee jerk reaction that should have been considered much more carefully and agreed behind the scene. I have sympathy for his position but as it stands today it raises more questions than answers and the press will not let it go until there is a proper resolution one way or the other.
We then drove onto Pelorus Bridge scenic area reserve which is popular place for swimming in the river. The car park was crammed and we ended up parking on the road. We walked onto the bridge and watched a few people swimming. There seemed to be far fewer people than there were cars. We decided to walk one of the shorter trails and didn’t see anyone else at all. To be truthful the walk through the forest was quite boring. It was quite short as well. All the other trails were much longer but would have taken hours to complete. We were a bit mystified as to why all the people were here and so in the end decided to push onto to Nelson and the Motel.
Nelson seemed a large town/city made up of some other towns that had all merged into one. The motel we had booked had glowing reviews and I had high hopes. The entrance and location did not seem that promising as we arrived though. Karen was worried by the name ‘Boutique Motel’ which she thought just meant quirky and weird. We checked in and had been allocated an upstairs room. It seemed OK but nothing special. The owners were very nice and helpful and as they saw me struggling with all the cases up the stairs decided to upgrade us to the garden suite on the ground floor. This was really good of them. The suite had its own private garden and was twice the size of the room I had booked. We were really happy and within 5 minutes are both sitting outside enjoying the sunshine for about a hour.
Our plan was to head back into Nelson to get a meal before returning early enough to do some washing in the laundry that was now literally next to our room. We drove the 4 miles back to the centre of Nelson and easily found free parking on the road. The pubs and restaurants seemed quite busy. Through Trip Advisor we had chosen an Italian place to eat called Babagatto. It was very authentic run by a young Italian family. The food wasn’t cheap but very good. We both had the fresh Tagliatelle with Salmon and Karen washed hers down with a glass of Rose.
Back in the Motel, whilst Karen nipped next door to put on a load of washing, I booked our day trip to Rottnest Island off the coast of Perth for when we are there in a couple of weeks.
It was another early night. As I laid in bed I thought about New Zealand. I still really like it and I would again describe it as somewhere if you are determined you can make something of yourself and your life. The population is still relatively small at around 5 million and it seems like opportunities are here for everyone. It feels like a young country which is still trying to play catch up with limited resources. The trouble is that it so isolated from anywhere else. It is perfect here in the summer time, but it maybe perhaps grim and desolate in the window. We have already come across many ex pats that have settled here and obviously been here a while. I do wonder why that even in my relatively narrow circle of friends that three of them are Kiwi’s all of which left to settle in the UK as soon as they could and none have any intention of moving back permanently. Perhaps as a tourist I only see the best side of being here.