Nelson and On and On

“My heart swings back and forth between the need for routine and the urge to run.”
– Samuel Greenberg

Oh god, this describes me so perfectly it’s slightly unnerving. Don’t worry, I’m not about to go all introspective on you. Tis merely a segue! See, having been running non-stop for well over two months, I decided I needed a break, and time to establish routine. I thought this would be especially useful in the run-up to Christmas, to ensure I don’t feel totally rootless while everyone back home is posting endless pictures of family and friend festivities on Facebook.

So here I am in the sleepy (in New Zealand, this is a superfluous adjective) town of Nelson, in a small hostel with a family atmosphere, and the feeling of having a home again, for a month at least. Nelson is the second oldest settled city in New Zealand and the oldest on the South Island. It’s famous in New Zealand for its craft beer, its art (particularly wearable art) and its weather. ‘Sunny Nelson’ is always voted near the top of places Kiwis want to live. Nestled near the top of the South Island, it’s surrounded by areas of great beauty, including three national parks. The most famous of these, Abel Tasman National Park, will warrant a blog post to itself at some point.

I’m the afternoon manager at Almond House Backpackers three times a week, and in return, I get free accommodation, wi-fi and laundry. It’s a fun job and I’ve learned a lot, so that’ll also be a blog post coming up. I find it interesting that I quite enjoy having some responsibility again, after essentially going cold turkey since August. There are four of us working for accommodation in the hostel and we spend our evenings playing cards, doing jigsaws, putting up the Christmas tree and arguing over each others’ eating habits.

I’m enjoying the stability of getting to know people who don’t then vanish two days later, and I’m afraid I have to admit a certain amount of relief at spending some time around slightly ‘older’ travellers (29, 27 and 24) who aren’t German (American, Swedish and Italian). (By the way, if you’re one of the ‘younger’ German backpackers I’ve met, then obviously this bit doesn’t apply to you. You guys are great!)

More on that in later posts, but for now, here are some photos of Nelson, the first home I’ve had in New Zealand…

Snapshots of NZ

A view of Nelson from the top of a nearby hill.

A view of Nelson from the top of a nearby hill.

A group of us at the so-called 'Centre of New Zealand'. I have to say so-called, because it's not the centre of New Zealand. Close enough, kinda.

A group of us at the so-called ‘Centre of New Zealand’ at the top of the hill. I have to say so-called, because it’s not the centre of New Zealand. Close enough, kinda.

A view facing south to the rolling hills behind Nelson.

A view facing south to the rolling hills behind Nelson.

The sun goes down on the Centre of New Zealand (still not actually the centre).

The sun goes down on the Centre of New Zealand (still not actually the centre).

The December Lantern Festival sees families across Nelson climb the hill to look out over their town.

The December Lantern Festival sees families across Nelson climb the hill to look out over their town.

There's plenty of entertainment as you climb the hill for the Lantern Festival.

There’s plenty of entertainment as you climb the hill for the Lantern Festival.

Some of it beautiful...

Some of it beautiful…

...and some of it creepy as hell. David Lynch just out of shot, I'm sure.

…and some of it creepy as hell. David Lynch just out of shot, I’m sure.

Nelson cathedral.

Nelson cathedral.

Nelson town centre.

Nelson town centre.

The Matai river that cuts through Nelson on its way from the hills to the sea.

The Matai river that cuts through Nelson on its way from the hills to the sea.

A short way out of Nelson and up the Matai river.

A short way out of Nelson and up the Matai river.

Nelson's Tahunanui beach.

Nelson’s Tahunanui beach.

Standing on the beach, contemplating life.

Standing on the beach, contemplating life.

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4 thoughts on “Nelson and On and On

  1. Absolutely stunning photos, verging on the awe inspiring. Against my will you’re making me want to go to New Zealand. I have so many places on my list already! This just adds pressure damn you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: A Great Walk | Fof's Off

  3. Pingback: JT’s Top Ten Places in New Zealand | Fof's Off

  4. Pingback: The End | Fof's Off

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