DAY 236...Saturday with Friends

Frosty, crisp grass. A beautiful Nelson morning and we are up early. Not only is it Market Day today, but friends are arriving this morning and the sun is shining. As an early morning Air NZ flight flew over us, we waved, knowing that Margaret Ann and Rob were on that flight. It’s exciting to know we’re going to see them later today for a long lunch and lots of chatter. It’s been nine months since I last saw them, on the day of my launch from Takapuna.

We were both eager to head to the uber cool Nelson Market again. To our delight, we saw a friendly face (Joyce) walking towards us at the campsite to say “hi”. She was there for a Rural Women’s conference so first, we stopped to chat and talk about the Kaihoka farm and when we think I might eventually arrive there. After that, we were off to the Market, this time knowing which stalls were likely to be there. Jase wasted no time getting into his routine (a strong flat white, a cinnamon scroll and some savoury puff pastry sticks!). He’s a creature of habit is Jase. In fact, today he devoured the cinnamon scroll in about four bites! We wandered around, stopped, looked and admired, spent time at the hand-crafted bow and arrow stall, and smiled at Pic’s Peanut Butter stall that originated here in Nelson. I went looking for the Proper Potato crisps but, alas, no stall today. Then, on to the Urban Hippie Miso stall, so many great local products. It may be cold but it’s sunny, and a warm, spiced pear juice is what kept me warm as we wandered. Believe it or not, we are both still in our jandals, pretending it’s still summer but I do have on my trusty, crocheted beanie. I stop and try on other hats. One was nearly a keeper, but I managed to refrain. Others seemed to like the Red Baroness and Penelope’s Pit-stop. I was looking to try and unpick the felt goggles! Maybe next week. Actually, I am still in love with a red toque, handmade by a lady in Invercargill.

Today we stopped and chatted to locals including Dougal from the Bokishi Boost stand. I was hoping to catch up with some others to spread Redz NZ Journey while we’re in Nelson, so we spent some more fun hours in the Market. Among other things, we stopped to listen to a very cool young man playing an incredible set of drums/chimes. It was inspiring enough to buy his CD and help him with his ongoing travels (not only of this country but of the whole world). He was way, way talented!

I wandered into the local library looking for a couple of inspirational books to read about Maori history and mythology and I managed to locate some. It takes rather a lot for me to step into a library and actually be focused enough to want to read, but I seem drawn to spending some time doing just exactly that. Then we went for a walk in the sunshine, along the beaches to a large, tepee-style structure we had snapped in an earlier sunrise photo. We are intrigued enough to get up close and personal with it, only to discover it was made out of driftwood. The sand was cold, but we are enjoying being outside. The sky is incredibly clear and bright. It's a perfect sunny winter’s day (nearly perfect!). If only I could have this kind of weather to paddle in on the West coast. Please take note, Mother Nature! Please oblige!

Once we have wandered for a while and waded ankle-deep in the sea, it was time to head back, to meet up with others for an afternoon of chatting and lots of adventure storytelling from Margaret Ann, Rob (from Auckland), Elizabeth and Rob (from Nelson). Such an enjoyable afternoon was spent with them all. Thanks guys! Rob is running a marathon once a month for a whole year, seeing new and different places around the world. What an incredible thing to be doing! I will be there in the morning to watch Rob run and assisting him as support crew along the way.

Recently, someone asked me what my favourite meal is. I reckon a good, roast dinner with crispy, roast veggies wins my vote every time. This evening, I have a scrummy roast lamb dinner cooking with all the trimmings and lots of roasted veggies. I can hardly wait! Tomorrow I’m part of Rob’s cheering team and then, I’ll be looking forward to next week when I’ll be heading back across the Takaka hills and maybe going bush for few days because, according to the weather forecast, it’s going to turn from windy and sunny to stormy! I have to laugh and smile at the same time, thinking “wow, this is one heck of an incredible odyssey, and I’m not even out of the South Island yet!”.

My smiles today:
To wake to another stunning day.
To see familiar faces is so nice.
To be incredibly happy. I like the sunny days the most.
New woolen leggings, a gift from home. Bliss indeed, as all of mine have many holes!
Roast lamb with roast veggies. A classic, wonderful Kiwi dinner. It’s simply gotta be my fav.
Being able to listen as others talk and share.
Meeting more new, extremely interesting people.

My thoughts today:
Don’t ever be ashamed of your story. It WILL inspire others.

That’s it from me on this sunny Saturday in Nelson. Until next time. Red.

Red thinking flying maybe easier. Red Barron!

Crazy Driftwood.