A new beginning

“real generosity to the future lies in giving all to the present.”

Albert Camus

Ok our one thing scheduled for this New Zealand trip is now finished. Numerous ideas but see what comes along.

Back at Picton and took Jeanne out for her birthday. Seems the whole world was celebrating and the restaurant was crowded. Waiters wanted to know if we could share a table. Of course we were delighted. A couple who had immigrated to New Zealand from South Africa joined us. They had left shortly after apartheid and we thoroughly enjoyed their conversation.

We were going to meet our friends Zak & Natasha again when they came over from the north island. But their ferry was not until the 31, the next day, so we had a day to kill. Friends in anchorage told us about some wine tours here so research showed wine valley just 40 kilometer down the road. Highlight wine tours showed up on web and we arranged an afternoon tour to begin at 11:20.

David showed up at our camper park at appointed time and we went off to pick up second couple at their camper park. Jutta and Alexis were on their honeymoon from Finland and proved delightful company.

David was a wealth of information about the area and wine and a great storyteller. When he delivered us back to our camper park we had visited 5-6 wineries, with 4-5 tastings at each, had a great lunch, visited a chocolate factory and saw Eddie the eel at the camper park of Jutta & Alexi. Turns out eels are somewhat common here. These guys were almost a meter long and maybe 10 cm thick.


I tried desperately to not let my ignorance show through by swirling the wine, smelling and tasting, but I confess I still cannot detect the chestnuts, and Turkish delight, and cinnamon and whatever else taste is supposedly there. To me it tasted white, but good. Turns out David is s beer drinker and we got along great.

One thing I remember him saying was New Zealand is great because not in a hurry. One will be lined up for cashier at grocery with 3-4 in queue and cashier will be carrying on pleasant conversation with whoever is checking out, even after finished checking groceries. No one cares as when you get there you have your conversation. I have found this very true. Cashiers seem to always ask where we are from, where we are going, and giving us ideas.

Back at camp we had a wondrous evening sitting at riverside, especially after David and his boss and their wives dropped off the wine which had bought during the day we had left in their van.

Blenheim holiday 10 park

The 31st arrived and we were to meet Zak & Natasha in Nelson about 60 k away but not til afternoon. More research and discovered the aeronautical museum of world war 1 & 2. Peter Jackson, of lord of rings fame, had done a lot of work with the museum. One of the best aeronautical museums I have ever been to. The diaramas were spectacular, life size and included amazing history of the planes but their development, use and function.

Depiction of World War I flyer who lost controls but could steer by feet outside
Replica of Red Baron plane
Russian women were equal under communists under lady did some amazing flying

As per usual the museum showed the futility and desires of people to demonstrate their superiority over others. Millions killed predominantly civilians. No one has explained a decent rational yet, at least to me. Funny species these humans.

Onward to Nelson meeting our friends at the camper park. A delightful park with over 800 sites. A sardine can of campers, but we were on the beach and a great ocean swim.

Nelson beach
Great swimming a bit of current
New Year’s Eve celebration

That evening the camper park had a band Route 66 Nelson and we rocked until 12:30.

So on to Nelson lakes park where campground listed as wonderful but every review listed sand flies as extreme. All true.

Must be learning the area as went looking for glowworms and managed to find some. They fascinate me.

Fern fields
Lake rotoroa
Celebrating Alaska new year 22 hours after ours
Sand fly with coffee

On to discover glow worms

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