© 2011 notworkrelated - David Rutter & Helen Roscoe. All rights reserved. notworkrelated_nz_helens_birthday_03

New Zealand – Motueka / Nelson – 3rd/4th Dec

We struggled to find a place to camp the night before on our way over to the Nelson region from Blenheim, so we opted for a roadside freedom spot where another van was parked up. It’s tricky knowing what is possible on the freedom camping side of things but we definitely felt reassured by the fact that another van was already parked for the night.

The reason we were heading over this way was because we were due to skydive at 11am on the 3rd in Motueka with Skydive Abel Tasman. Unfortunately it was a thick, cloudy start to the day so we went straight to the Motueka airfield to have a chat with the skydive company. They wanted to push us back to 1.30pm, we were okay with this but the outlook wasn’t so good. We opted to work on the blog and editing at an internet/sushi cafe on the main street in Motueka and by noon we figured the weather wasn’t going to change and decided to postpone the skydive until Monday and go back to Nelson to take advantage of being in a town and some finer weather for Helen’s birthday night out!

We backtracked and drove to Nelson whilst stopping en-route for lunch at the Ruby coastal scenic drive where we found a handy little campsite that would become useful to us over the next few days. We were in Nelson by the afternoon and checked into the Nelson Holiday Park which at $36 would be our most expensive night camping in NZ yet. However on the plus side we could walk into town, there were free showers and a decent kitchen too.

On our way into central Nelson we passed by an eclectic vintage and antiques shop supplying everything from bone china teapots to retro posters, old picnic sets to mannequins, and clothes to furniture. We love these kind of places as they give us ideas for our future home! The owner was more than happy for us to take some photos as we explored her vast collection.

When we got into central Nelson we stopped by the Art Deco Cathedral before taking the steep path up to the centre of New Zealand. There is a monument marking the spot and great views across Nelson and the mountain ranges beyond. Back in Nelson we had some good pub grub and cider at Mac’s home brewing pub ‘The Vic’, there was a good atmosphere and we liked the way Mac’s is branded. It’s also really good to see so many local brews leading the way. We ended our evening at The Free House a converted church where some live Blues was taking place. We had intended to enjoy the live music but instead we opted for a bottle of a local Sauvignon Blanc whilst enjoying the ambience.

The following day was Helen’s birthday and first thing Dave baked a lemon drizzle poppyseed cake! Woooop! Happy birthday to me happy birthday to me….

For the rest of the day it rained and rained so we didn’t take many photos. We opted for the Nelson Museum, the Sutra Gallery and popped into Mountain Designs to have a quick catch up with Brian aka Two Backpackers who we know from twitter. Small world.

Later on we drove back to Motueka to watch a film at their local artsy cinema Gecko. We opted for Submarine which we both enjoyed immensely and vowed to own it in our DVD collection soon! We ended the day with fish and chips from the Happy Chippy on the main street, although we had bought food for dinner it was raining so heavily we couldn’t cook anywhere and nothing else was open!

That night we camped at the $6 a night campground that we’d stopped at the day before on the Ruby Coast. It was pretty flooded but we found a decent spot and the rain eventually calmed down.

(Leica M9, Summicron-M 50mm f/2.0, Leica 90mm f/2.8, Zeiss 18mm f/4 ZM processed in Lightroom 3)

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