Friday, June 20, 2014

Nelson, New Zealand: Wednesday, June 18, 2014:

We are getting far enough south that the sun does not come up until about 7:53 in the morning, so we are sleeping in until at least 8:00.  The sun is then setting by 5:04 pm.  We will be continuing farther south so the days will continue to be shorter. It is wintertime here. The temperatures at night get down into the 40’s and during the day they are in the upper 50’s.  The sun is what makes the real difference. If the sun is shining and you are in the sun, it is beautiful. This noon we ate on a patio area that was protected from the wind and we were sitting in the sun – simply lovely. 

This morning Cal went on a bike ride with our friend, their daughter and granddaughter – that is they rode to a coffee shop (15 km)!  The wife and myself found a few very nice shops to spend a bit of time before we joined the rest for coffee.  After coffee while they rode their bikes home we popped into a few additional shops.  I am sure I was to the one pottery shop in 1996 because of a piece of pottery I bought back then has the same or a very similar pattern.  When we get home I will be looking at the name on the bottom of the piece I have.  
Lettuce Field along the Bike Trail


Vineyard along the trail

Sheep in the Vineyard

This afternoon we had a very interesting historical tour of the town of Nelson. Can you imagine in the 1840’s being on a boat for 4 ½ months, sailing from England, around the tip of South Africa, past Australia to New Zealand.  I just cannot imagine!! Plus it wasn’t just men, women and children, but all their food, water and any possessions they brought, plus animals.  New Zealand had nothing, so all the horses, cows, oxen, sheep, pigs had to be brought by boat.  Actually this was the same for Australia.

The town of Nelson was a planned community.  It is located where there is a natural rock barrier creating a protected harbor.  Only folks with families, and specific skills, or trades, were invited to ‘come on’ over.  They have the manifest lists of names, ages, and occupations of all those that came to Nelson in those early years – 1842-43.  A certain number in the group were from the religious Quaker/Friends Society.               

This evening we went to the daughter’s home for a delicious dinner, reminiscing and conversation. We have had a delightful time in Nelson reconnecting with these friends.

They have told us about additional things to do before we get to Christchurch on Friday, so what we are thinking tonight is that we will leave after lunch tomorrow and take an extra afternoon driving south.

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