New Zealand Phase Two

While Sue and I were walking along the beach this morning, the temperature was in the mid 70s, the sun was shining and a cool breeze was blowing off the ocean. We had just heard that where many of our friends are, it was raining, flooding or that snow had recently fallen. We thought of what we might say to provide comfort but all we could think of was, " Life is not fair!"

Nelson on the northern end of the South Island

We flew from our last location in Christchurch to Nelson. Upon arrival, we were handed the keys to a giant 4 wheel drive Mitsubishi. We called it the 'tank.' Did we mention that Sue is doing all the driving on the left hand side and turning the wheel on this rig has developed her arms and shoulders. We thought it best to have one driver very comfortable with left hand protocol rather than 2 less practiced drivers. Clever idea isn't it?

Green Mussels

Nelson is a fishing and tourist kind of place with great sea food resturaunts. It and the nearby town of Hastings are the center of the green mussel industry and among mollusks, this is the reigning champion.

The Abel Tasman boat trip

Blessed with a mild climate, golden beaches and lush coastal native bush, the Abel Tasman Coast Track is a lovely place and we spent the day traveling up and down its length by boat. It is not exactly a wild place but a mix of public and private holdings. It is lovely but we would not want to see it become the model for US parks.

Some icons of New Zealand are rugby (which is played every where unless they are playng cricket), grapes before they become sauvignon blanc, and lamb before roasting.

Our most recent stop is Napier, a city destroyed by an earthquake in 1931 but rebuilt in a largely Art Deco style. It is time travel to walk these streets looking like a movie from the period. Nice biking all over the bay.

Well, this will be our final post from 'down under' even though we have a few more days and many more photos and memories. We are having trouble finding a reliable internet connection.

We will see you soon and please improve the weather before our arrival.

Sue and Gary

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