Monday 23 January we woke to a sunny morning in Murchison. We were in no hurry to leave, still enjoying not having to launch into another day of motel managing. We walked over to the Murchison butchers shop and bought some of their bacon and sausages. We enjoyed some of the sausages that evening. They were the real thing – we were surprised how little fat came out in the cooking. Long live real butchers shops.
We finally dragged ourselves away, and on towards Nelson. We’d read that we could park up at the Richmond Racecourse, which is near enough to Nelson. We headed straight there and got ourselves settled in in time for another afternoon nap. Tuesday we walked over to the Richmond Mall and drove into Nelson for an explore around there. Wednesday and Thursday and Friday were taken up with appointments attending to various ailments and also a walk up the hill called Centre of New Zealand. The centralness is a very tenuous claim but it is a good viewpoint. There was a maze of tracks with some closed by storm damage which was confusing as no detour information was offered. We also visited the Nelson Cathedral which is lovely inside. The outside is somewhat unassuming with a tower thing that wouldn’t look out of place at a fire station for drying hoses. But inside is awesome. I am a pushover for stained glass windows and they have some wonderful ones.
Nelson is a lovely city. The central part has some beautiful older houses. Plus the hills hem it in, not at all a bad thing. Plus one of the streets has a ford where it crosses a stream. It is concreted so that most of the time the road is dry, and it has gates to keep cars out when the stream rises. You have to like a city with a ford in the middle. And there are lots of cycle tracks, mostly off the roads, and lots of cyclists. And the sea, and the strange Boulder Bank that defies it. And a nice hippie flavour to a lot of things. Nelson seems to have retained and evolved and integrated the sixties. Yep, it’s a lovely place.
On Friday morning we discovered that the approaching weekend was Nelson Anniversary weekend where Monday would be a holiday and maybe everyone would leave town for an extra holiday at the beach. As we were planning on heading for Golden Bay ourselves we figured out it was time to get out of town ourselves and try to beat the rush. So we zoomed back to Richmond and packed ourselves up and emptied out Suzi’s waste tanks and filled up her water tanks, and her diesel tank. And dashed to the supermarket for provisions for our own tanks. And finally headed off west, bound for Golden Bay.