in Nelson has been pretty nice so far. In fact I keep having
to convert months and reminding myself that it is the equivalent
of December here right now! It is getting colder overnight,
and we are certainly very happy to finally have heat in the
house, but the sunshine is still quite brilliant, and it warms
up quite nicely midday often to the point of being able to wear
shorts and short sleeves. I must qualify this a bit. Kiwis are
almost always in shorts and short sleeves and I still see a
few walking around town barefoot. They either don't feel the
cold or it's more of that pioneer tough it out spirit. I've
been in long pants and wool sweaters for quite some time now.
John and I will go out on bike rides wearing wool leg warmers,
jackets, gloves etc., and almost everyone we meet has bare legs!
So here we are supposedly used to cold, having commuted through
brutal Boston winters with temps in the single digits in Fahrenheit,
all bundled up at 40-50F, while locals ride around in shorts!
mountains nearby got a good covering of snow recently. On clear
days the views are spectacular. I will admit that we do have the
odd non-clear day, and even some real downright messy rainy days.
When it rains here, it doesn't muck about. We get proper heavy
downpours, and it is raw, especially the southerlies. We call
it a lazy wind, because it can't be troubled going around you,
it just cuts right through. But a couple of days of this unpleasant
stuff is usually followed by a week of lovely crystal clear sunny
days. Then the camera comes back out!
is heading off for a whirlwind trip home for a bit of greencard
recharging. The original plan was that he would meet Susan Lowery
in California to ride the Terrible Two, but logistics just made
this difficult and apparently of the three of us (John, Susan
and Pamela), I (Pamela) was the most keen on John and Susan doing
this brutally tough ride. Maybe next year! Anyway, as we starting
investigating airfares, we found that from NZ at least, round
the world fares were cheaper than most return fares to the States.
So John is heading to Connecticut to hang out with Roy, Susan
and Drew a while. He'll be cycling around our old stomping grounds
and trying to visit friends. Then he's off to Ireland for a couple
of weeks and then back here. It seems a shame to waste a round
the world journey on only two real stops, but we'll both
go next time and do it properly. I am staying in New Zealand.
We didn't feel comfortable leaving the cats (with unfamiliar cat
sitters) for such a long trip, and the kitchen is supposed to
be installed next month, so I am sticking around to look after
cats and the house. I also have plans to get a lots of work done
while John is away.
the lead up to John's trip, we've been trying to do a bit more
hiking, since Susan has threatened to walk John's legs off while
he is there. That and the fact that the walking around here is
just spectacular! We headed back out to the Cable Bay Walkway
again. The first time we did the walk, we started pretty late
in the day, and walked just past the top and back down. We got
another late start this time, but managed to do almost the entire
walkway and back. The character of this path changes dramatically
several times. It starts out up a steep climb across open fields,
but then goes into lovely native bush before emerging on open
fields again. We skipped the final part down into Cable Bay itself,
since daylight was growing short, but we've ridden into Cable
Bay many times, so we haven't missed anything other than a steep
descent and climb back out.
I've let my feet get out of walking shape, and I suffered a bit
near the end of this walk. We'd talked about trying to do a 4
day tramp either on the Heaphy Track or the Abel Tasman before
John heads off, but decided maybe we should ramp up a little slower
before committing to a long trip. We also had some complications
with the house. The gutters still aren't installed and the roofing
company called the day before we were planning the trip to say
the gutter folks would be around the next day. Well if we ever
do get the gutters, you'll get to read all about what we've been
through, but for now I'll just say that we've had numerous false
starts and still no gutters!
delaying our tramp a couple of times, we missed a good spell of
weather, so we planned a very short tramp, and just did an overnight
on the first part of the Abel Tasman in from Marahau. We walked
four hours in with our overnight gear, stayed at the first hut,
and then tramped four hours back the next day. It poured rain
the next day! My feet held up better, so I'll try to maintain
this (by doing some walking on my own) while John is away and
we'll do quite a bit once he returns!