Nelson, Day 2

Woke up and the first thing on the agenda was figuring out WHERE we are going tomorrow and WHERE we are staying tomorrow night. We had pretty much decided that we’d just drive right on down to Christchurch (about 8 hour drive). There were really no places to stay in between and nothing here in Nelson looked all that inviting either.

We had breakfast out on the deck and then Jon and Sarah joined us out there to give us THEIR opinions of the cities down in the southern half of the South Island (not very good!) They gave us quite a few tips and suggestions. The lived in Christchurch until 2 years ago. Christchurch had a major earthquake 6 years ago — one of the biggest insurance claims ever — and their house had some major damage and needed to be rebuilt. When their frustration with the insurance companies dragged on for four years they decided to take a cash settlement and move up to Nelson.

When it was time for lunch we went back to our room and Sue got on the phone to expedia to book us a night in the Ashley Hotel in Greymouth, a small old gold-mining town on the West coast, about 4.5 hours from here. We think we’ll tackle a trip down the West Coast first, then come up on the East side, from Christchurch on back up to Nelson. Well, booking on the phone with expedia is no simple little thing, it turns out. It was WAY past lunch when finally we hung up the phone.

We went to McD’s for lunch — Sue had her muffin and cappuccino and I had cheeseburger and fries. We sat there and discussed things a bit. Then we got in the car and went to the i-Site Tourist Info place to ask about possibilities for long-term (1 or 2 weeks) stays in the region. Sorry, but all the accommodations are booked — it would be hard to find anything that is remotely like what we think we’re looking for.

Next we drove a few miles out of town to a ‘property management’ company, hoping that perhaps they might have something for us. (We’d been given the recommendation by Chris and Angela, B&B hosts where we stayed in Rotorua quite a few weeks ago.) But the address for the ‘office’ led us to what looked to be a residential home up in the hills behind the city of Nelson. Not going there.

It was around 3pm when we drove along the coast back the other way and found the Nelson Golf Course. It wasn’t quite time for the 4 o’clock “twilight rates” to kick in, so we went next door to the new Motel complex to enquire about long term rates. They were already booked for many of our dates, but we DID manage to put something on hold for us should we be back in this part of the country by the beginning of March.

Then we got out our clubs and walked the links-style golf course that is between the sea and a small airport for 18 holes of golf. Very much fun. Sue enjoyed it much more than yesterday’s course because the sea breeze made it more comfortable in the hot sun, and because there were no sand flies to bug us on this course, and because she managed to make at least three longer-than-20-yard (oops, that should be 20-foot!) putts in the first nine holes! THAT is some good golf!

It was 7:30 by the time we finished golfing. We went back into the town of Nelson and found a ‘Mexican’-style restaurant. Very good food, very good service, lots of people eating here. Actually, many of the ‘ethnic’ restaurants on this street were quite busy on this Tuesday night. It’s a nice little town; if it wasn’t so booked up we’d probably be happy to stay here for a couple of weeks.

Back at our B&B, Jon and Sarah were sitting in front of one of their big TV screens when we got home just before 9. They greeted us, but soon headed off to bed. Another long hard evening of TV watching, I guess. Sue and I sat out on the deck for a little while, checking our devices. Then we too went off to our bedroom. While Sue scouted out what comes after Greymouth tomorrow night, I wrote my journal. And then we too were off to bed.