Day 20 – Nelson

I awoke to glorious sunshine in Nelson, New Zealand’s sunshine capital. Over the free breakfast in the Paradiso kitchen, Karin and I planned out the day ahead. First up we walked into town to check out the Saturday morning market that was on. There was a great selection of crafts, wool products and delicious food stands but on a backpackers budget there was a lot more looking than purchasing. Then I saw a stand set up by one of the local gyms and they had an ergo challenge where if you could row 500m in under 2.5 mins you won a free backpack, not that I needed another bag but I couldn’t resist the challenge. Having rowed for my country back when I was in high school I was reasonably confident as I strapped my feet in.

taking a rowing ergometer challenge

Just as I was getting warmed up and ready to start they said that a girl from Blenheim had set the record time so far that morning of 1min & 46 secs adding a bit of pressure. Despite being out of practice I clearly retained some strength and managed to pull a time of 1min 43 secs and won myself a backpack.

After that burst of energy we left the market and wandered up to the Nelson Cathedral where I got to practice some more HDR photography inside.

inside Nelson Cathedral, New Zealand

Next up we headed to the supermarket to stock up for our trip into the Abel Tasman National Park and also picked up some of the famous Green-lipped Muscles for about NZ$5.00/kg for lunch and went back to the hostel to cook them up for lunch. Neither of us being acclaimed chefs we ended up just steaming them and dipping them in a seafood sauce but they were simply delicious.

steaming our fresh green-lipped muscles

Karin & I enjoying fresh, steamed, green-lipped muscles for lunch

Not wanting to waste any of the sunshine we set out again to walk to the beach which turned out to be several kilometres away but having been stuck indoors for so many days in Wellington  it was nice to be outside and in the sunshine. Although it was still cold hence the jacket and no thoughts of going for a swim.

the bay in Nelson with snow-capped peaks in the distance

soaking it up on the beach in Nelson - the sunshine capital of New Zealand

The beach is also very close to the airport so I enjoyed the regional Air New Zealand’s planes passing directly overhead as they came in to land.

Air New Zealand on final approach to Nelson Airport

It was a long walk back to the hostel where we had just enough time for some tea before rushing off to climb the hill just around the corner from the hostel, on top of which is the geographical “centre of New Zealand.” It would also be a great vantage point from which to catch the sunset over Nelson.

panorama of the sunset over Nelson from the centre of New Zealand

the bronze plaque marking the centre of New Zealand

me standing on the geographical centre of New Zealand

sunset from the centre of New Zealand with a jet stream in the distance

Then we rushed back down the hill to catch the free soup and bread for dinner back at the hostel before ending up in the sauna again to rest our fatigued legs. I even tried the whole thermal shock therapy of jumping into the 2 degree swimming pool outside and then running back to the sauna like my Swedish ancestors would have done, I’m still not convinced it’s good for you but it was invigorating.


About Rory Alexander

Ever growing blogger that spent 2 years in living in China, then 6 weeks backpacking around New Zealand and is now back home in South Africa for the foreseeable future.
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4 Responses to Day 20 – Nelson

  1. roanmack13 says:

    I didn’t know you were such an accomplished rower, bud??? Nice one!

  2. Pingback: Day 21 – Nelson to Abel Tasman National Park | Why Rory Alexander is in New Zealand

  3. Pingback: Day 22 – Abel Tasman National Park to Nelson | Why Rory Alexander is in New Zealand

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