27 April 2012

Good Times in Nelson

We've been in Nelson for a month, and it's gone by so quickly! We've been living in a caravan at Tasman Bay Backpackers, where I've been painting and renovating the hostel in exchange for our accommodation while Sam works with Bill the joiner, our host in Nelson the last time we were here.

This is only the second hostel we've stayed in during our trip, and while it lacks some of the quality family time we're used to with homestays, we have been able to make so many nice friends from all over the world. Plus, as far as hostels go, this one is pretty homey with a fireplace, no TV, a big kitchen and chocolate pudding every night.

Centre of NZ
The "Centre of NZ" overlooking Nelson
Jam sesh
Sam and my homemade shortbread cookies
The hostel has a guitar in the common area for guest use, and Sam found some other musicians to jam with. I've been horrible about not taking photos lately, but I managed to get a few shots of Bram, Sam and Nick making music one evening last week. Thick as thieves, Sam and Bram even wrote a country song! I think Bram was something of a supplementary younger brother for Sam after Harrison went home.

Jam sesh

Bram playing a Dutch song
Tobi's fish
Tobi with his catch of the day: trout!
Most of the people with whom we've been working have moved on this week, or will be leaving this weekend, so the word of the moment is goodbye. Goodbye for now, I should say. The best thing about international friends is they give you a reason to keep traveling. Perhaps we will see them again in their country, or ours?

Fellow Helpers
International Friends Club: Germany, Chile, Netherlands, Japan, Texas and Germany
Now we're looking forward to a month in Australia, where we will be traveling in a very different way: no car, no luggage, and no solid plans. We're just going to fly by the seat of our pants and hopefully not spend too much money. We're planning to head north from Sydney in search of sunny beaches, and perhaps the Great Barrier Reef if it's not too cost-prohibitive. Also on the agenda are cuddly indigenous mammals, something we've been missing from New Zealand.

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