I left Picton thinking I would head off and go straight to Nelson and then work my way up to Abel Tasman. Melissa sent me there without a hitch but omitted to inform me that I was missing the Queen Charlotte Route.. in other words the scenic route to Havelock. Arrived in the "Global capitol of the green shelled mussels" namely Havelock and headed straight for the dock where I mouched around the place for about two hours lying in the sun and trying to figure out where best to go to next. I was pretty peeved at the fact that I had missed the Queen Chrlotte Scenic route so I looked up the BBH guide and saw a place called Hopewell in Pelorus Sound Marlborough ranked the best rated backpackers hostel in the guide and rang to see whether there were any vacancies.. Yes the last one!! Yippie and a double room for $55. I was told by Lyn I was about 2.5 hours away even though it was only about 70km. Lyn also had no idea that I had Melissa to contend with. It took me 4 hours of hard driving to arrive. I think that Lyn was at the stage that she thought I had got lost and you would seriously think you had. Of the 70km, 22kms were unpaved road and you feel as if you are definately lost. I eventually arrived after 5pm when Melli had sent me up a mud path above the hostel and a further 500m beyond..If I could never manage reversing down large lengths of bumpy pool filled muddy tracks then this was not the time to learn!! Lyn got me settled into my lovel cabin with a verandah ovelooking the sea and asked me to come to join the others at a mussel evening at 6.30. The facilities here are just amazing. Imagine perfectly manicured lawns running down to the waters edge. Canoes, wet suits , boats, picnic areas, beautiful room , showers bathrooms with fresh flowers and wait for it... a hot tub on a jetty overlooking the Kenepuru Sound and you get the picture! Sweet God but I had arrived in paradise. For those who want to check this out please check up www.hopewell.co.nz and you will see why I am waxing lyrical!
The mussel meeting would not normally be my thing but the folk who were there were fantastic and really chatty, including a lovely lady doctor from Christchurch who had just moved there about a year ago, bought a house with her English hubby and have a really great high fiver boy called James of 18 months. Their house was destroyed in the quake and they justg needed to get away and have a break . They could not have found a better place. Plates of steaming mussels with salty bread all provided gratis were in abundance and the chat was flowing. Most then retired to the kitchen at about 20.30 and made dinner and then sat down to play a game called 30 seconds..a brilliant game like charades but you can talk and be descriptive but there are 5 topics and you have got to get your team mates to get all 5 in that 30 seconds. Really intelligent game but it was like Trivial Persuit in that a lot of the topics were local like NZ All Black players and Cricketers etc.. therefore not a clue from this side but as those of you who know me well in any “fun” game I am firercely competitive. We lost! But it was a great laugh and I got to bed at midnight.
Its now Wednesday and when I had arrived Lyn would not take the payment for the room stating that I may like to stay a second night and settle up before I left... She is one shrewd woman.. when you experience the atmosphere, the location and how relaxed it is, you just want to stay another few days! I will down load some pics when I manage to get myself a few hours to concentrate on the task.However the web site will give you a relly good idea.
After a perfect nghts sleep again under egyptian cotton and a leisurely brekkie I wanted to head out to do some hiking. James a Kiwi on tour in his own country asked me did I want to accompany him to the top of the peak with a telephone booster mast. We drove there and hiked for about and hour up and down and stumbled across a herd of wild goats! Some amazing magic looking mushrooms en route too! Like something from Noddy and Big Ears.. red in coulour with white lumps. Also incredible views but that goes withour saying..
Got back down from there and then I decided to do the 90 min hike up and around this site here. Good pull up and great directions by Mike, Lyns hubby... It did take the 90 mins even though I did take a slight detour of 20 mins.. Still though I will have buns of steel after this hol and when you get the reward of magnificent views you dont give a damn re the trudge.
So picutre this now all.. sitting in my swimming togs lying out on the lawn and the sea lapping at the end of the garden and about 25 degrees celcius....hmmmmmm what will I do next??? Hot tub or kayak?? Not rubbing it in am I? Hehehehe.
The decision is mine!