Monday 22 January 2018

Loose in Nelson

Don't ask me how it happened, but I'm blaming booking my domestic flights for this trip while somewhere en route to Antarctica and hence on the other side of the International Date Line. The upshot is, I've got an extra night here in Nelson, while the Baby, more efficiently, is scooting off home at lunchtime. She turned her nose up at the DIY waffles at the Prince Albert breakfast buffet, but I thought it was an unexpected treat for a backpackers, to have a couple of waffle irons on the bar plus batter measured out ready into glasses.
Then we wandered off into town, which is small, cute and accessible and well supplied with coffee bars, so we sat in the sun in Trafalgar Street with our flat whites while a little Asian lady swept busily all around us. After attending to a couple of errands - which included buying a pair of jandals for me as my feet were complaining about yet another day in trainers - we set off vaguely towards the Suter Art Gallery. 
We got distracted, though, by a Kite Festival on in the park on the waterfront, so we trailed over there and lay on the grass looking up at what seemed mainly fish-themed colourful kites of all sizes (though there was a horse vainly trying to get airborne, plus a pig, and a spaceman). All the kite fliers were, naturally, older white men.
The River Kitchen was ideal for an early lunch, beside the Maitai River - the best chips, plus I can recommend the portobello mushroom and halloumi burger, and Rochdale's ginger/lime cider. Having had a bit of a wander around the shops, we then (it is Sunday, after all) finished up at the back-street Craft Beer Depot, where we were the only customers. We sprawled on the sofa with a Braeburn apple hopped cider (hopped cider!) to toast the Baby's excellent idea in arranging this little expedition, and then said goodbye as she got onto her bike and pedalled off to the airport.
At an unaccustomed loose end - normally, when I'm travelling, there is precious little free time, let alone an entire half day of it - I sucked up a bit of Trafalgar St vibe, went up to Christ Church Cathedral which is Nelson's only justification to call itself a city, was a bit disconcerted to find a display of decorated Christmas trees inside, and then, in true homeless style, fell asleep on a bench in the garden alongside.
Next I went to see a movie - I've struggled to remember which one, it was so forgettable (The Commuter) - and finally moseyed back through the warm evening to the Prince Albert where, after the luxury of having a room to myself last night, I was doing it proper backpacker style in a mixed dormitory.  Not that it mattered: I was in my upper bunk with the curtains drawn before the others came to bed, and was up and away well before them next morning, so I never actually saw any of them (though I did hear snoring, and farting).

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