Nelson has become a second home, and with it we found a second family. The long-termers and fellow workers we met at Tasman Bay Backpackers were great, and we ended our time with them by having a rowdy and joyful party full of hugs, music, funkyball, late night breakfast and a little bit of braiding each other's hair.
|Eva, Marcus, Peter, Sam, Henk-Jan, The two German Annas, Alvin, Mike, Philip, and Nadine|
The evening started out innocently enough, with a pizza party courtesy of Peter, the hostel owner.
Later we moved on to grooming each other, like monkeys. Braids ensued.
I took a lot of photos because I was really going to miss these people and I wanted to remember everything.
Our Finnish friend Teppo makes the best facial expressions. Sometimes I think he's part cartoon.
The boys played lots of goodbye songs, even Julian, who had been hiding his musical talents all this time. I got to be Sam's harmonica holder.
The day we left, we had one more goodbye to make: FAT CAT! She's the neighborhood cat who saunters in to the hostel for cuddles. I had two dreams that I was about to discover her real name, but both times I woke up before I discovered it.
The hostel plays only kiwi music, and one of Sam's last projects was to build a display case for some of the CDs in their collection. I think it turned out pretty well!
|Bill & Sam|
We couldn't get ahold of Bill on our way out of town, so our drive started out on a sad note. Then we U-turned on the highway, deciding to swing by his house and leave a note. Sam walked around Bill's beautiful front yard, strumming one last song on his borrowed guitar, while I reminisced about our initial arrival in Nelson, in early December. This was the first place we stayed in the South Island, and it's still one of the most beautiful.
While we were there, Bill came home! After a visit and a final cup of cowboy coffee, we set out again down the winding highway to Christchurch, this time in better spirits.
Thanks for all the happy memories, Nelson!