DAY 230...Day Tripping

Sunday morning, a day of a sort of sleep-in for me, as far as lying still and listening to the rain on the roof of Cuzzie counts for one (but nice and warm with no leaks). No paddling in circles today. Instead the plan is driving around in circles, and to sight-see a little on a rather grey, wet and colder Nelson day. 

Firstly, we went for a walk out and along the beach at Mapua and looked over to Rabbit Island, but decided the place would be better to visit on a sunny day and passed on it for today. Along the road we went, towards Jester’s Café, to look at the sculptures in the gardens and the wooden playground area, along with a cute little cottage in the shape of a boot. Even in the cold and rain, this place was already busy with punters (all indoors). We wandered into the playground, marveled at all of the animals created out of wood, the crazy but cute Boot Cottage and the over-sized sculptured toaster! The best, in our opinion, were the tree stump seats with a smiley face and eyes on each. I simply loved these. Once we had finished touring and looking in and round the gardens we stepped inside to order a hot drink, and discovered a huge, glowing open fire which was cranking. No wonder there was no room inside for us! But we were both happy to sit at the outdoor tables, with the warm woollen blankets they supplied. 

Then a couple of small Internet jobs to do, that should have been easier than they ended up being. After talking with a very helpful online customer service person, I managed to use some of my airpoints to book a flight for support crew Jase, who is heading back to Auckland in the next day or so while the weather stays below average. Leaving me to paddle in circles for a few solo days. After what should have been a five minute job booking flights, we eventually left the cafe about an hour later! I needed to talk to a few people on my mobile, so we sat in the warmth in Cuzzie while I chatted and learned some more cool stuff about the local history of this stunning NZ area. I was so enthralled that I was writing notes but for the life of me, I can’t absorb everything I’m told. The history and background information is so incredibly interesting that I’m hooked on discovering more. Maybe, one day soon, I’ll get the chance to spend a day in the local library after my paddling circles have been completed. The Maori mythology and legends are so incredible and I do find them extremely interesting (so magical that it makes my eyes shine with excitement). I even said to Jase last night that I was more and more intrigued by the Maori language and thought I’d like to learn even more and spend some time studying the language to improve my knowledge. 

By the time I had finished making my phone calls, the day had slipped away. We drove along the coastline to check out the sights and stopped for lunch at the McKee Memorial Reserve. There seem to be lots of permanent residents based here (and at $6 per night, why not?). It's a rather cheap location. We did find a cool, hanging shell sculpture and parked by the beach to eat lunch. We also grabbed some local coffee beans from further down the road and a bag of tamarillos from a roadside stall. Poor Jase was made to do a few U-turns and detours just in case I missed something of interest.

Despite lots of rain, we have had some fun, seen some more of Nelson and have been given some other great sites, locations and places to go. It’s truly incredible the knowledge that others have about these hills and the locations (thanks for sharing). I'm heading off to see as many places as possible. Back we went into Nelson in order to get better cellphone coverage, to nail lots of emails and to do some homely things like cooking tamarillos for dessert.

My smiles today:
Listening to the rain on Cuzzie’s roof (with no leaks!).
Sightseeing in the rain is still enjoyable.
Mapua Campsite (thanks to all who felt they needed to share with us that clothes were optional!).
Nat working at Mt Eden doing her pyrotechnics for the All Blacks vs Wales match. Go girl!
More than eight Tuis in a tree today (reminds me of The Twelve Days of Christmas song!) and they were so beautiful, feeding on a sweet treat the locals had put out for them.
Camp-ground residents: they are always such incredibly interesting characters, with so many great stories.
Leftovers (the best lunches in my world).

My thoughts today:
If you know who you are and where you are from, then you will know where you are going.

Dinner is underway, the heater is on, and it’s time to say good night from Red.

Outdoor Sea Sculpture.

Outdoor Sea Sculpture.

Smiling at you.

Smiling at you.