Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Two Nights in Nelson

One of the main advantages of staying in one place for more than a day is that you can start to develop little stories about the place and its people. To wit: On our first day in Nelson, we took care of some stuff in an internet cafe staffed by one slightly condescending tech guy who looked down his nose at a German tourist who didn't know how a certain type of software worked. OK, standard enough. It seems that this type of person has worked in each of the internet cafes I've been to. But, on day two of wandering the streets of Nelson, I happened to glance into an empty shop selling what looked to be standard teeny bopper clothing and who should be standing dejectedly behind the counter? That's right, our condescending computer guy. I couldn't help imagining that he treated the young clientèle with the same contempt, perhaps telling them that certain halter tops were certainly not in style anymore.

The second half of our Nelson stay was not completely filled with people watching, though. We decided to take a stab at one of the most popular treks in NZ--the Abel Tasman. Unlike the trails that had occupied most of our hiking time in NZ--the Abel Tasman is relatively easy hiking along the coast in a more tropical setting. Once we started what was going to be a 5 hour hike, we got pulled astray by the beach that wound next to the trail. So instead of the long walk, we decided to stroll through the rocky shallows along the beach. After getting marooned in an inlet due to our ignorance of the tides, and wading rather than walking back to the beach, we finished the hike by taking another ill-conceived walk through the muddy estuary. A few lost flip-flops later, we were off for a night in Picton, our last stop on the South Island.

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