I got the 8.30am ferry from Wellington to Picton and it was really busy. I was going back to a favourite spot – Nelson. It’s one of my favourite cities in New Zealand. I know I keep saying that I have favourite spots but there are four main ones: Kaikoura, Paihia, Wellington and Nelson. Christchurch is also a place that’s moving up that list. But I was very happy to be going back to Nelson for a few days.
As I said, the ferry was really busy, compared to the afternoon ferry I took from Picton to Wellington in January. Everyone was clambering for a spot at the railings to take photos, as we were leaving port. After a two hour bus journey with Intercity, from Picton to Nelson, I arrived in Nelson in the early afternoon. A few months previously, I phoned the Tramper’s Rest hostel to see if they had space for a few nights. They did and I was met at the bus stop by Allan, one of the owners of the hostel.
I saw in the BBH hostel that it was a small, cosy hostel with only two or three rooms. I like the smaller hostels because I find them more personal and the Tramper’s Rest lived up to its reputation. It was more like a homestay and one of the best hostels I’ve stayed in. Allan and Piri, really make you feel welcome. They’re very helpful and friendly and gave us tips on where to go and what to do in the area. I had a room to myself and paid 42NZD per night. It was great to come back at the end of the day and collapse into the very comfortable bed, under the eaves of the house.The kitchen and living room are open areas, a great place to meet and talk to other travelers. They have a little garden out the back and it‘s in a quiet location, even though it’s only five minutes walk from the centre of town.
I had an idea a long while ago in Amsterdam, to do a sponsored walk for a charity in Christchurch but never followed it up. Originally I was thinking of doing the full day Tongariro Crossing walk, but Tongariro is in the North Island and I was now in the South Island, so if I had decided to do that, it would have cost me 350 euros to pay for flights, transport, paying for a guide etc so that was too expensive. Then I thought that I might do a sponsored walk in Abel Tasman National Park, very close to Nelson. But the only thing with that, was the fact that I only had two days to get sponsorship. It wasn’t half enough time to raise money. It takes a long time to get sponsorship for things like this, so I “gave up the ghost” for now. I thought that maybe I could do sponsored something or other when I get back to Amsterdam. It would have been good though to do it now, as Wednesday was the year’s anniversary of the February 22nd earthquake in Christchurch.