40. Nelson

Wednesday, March 22: Variably cloudy, warm

Genie’s

Breakfast at Genie’s was muesli & yoghurt; I had found some instant coffee and made my own, and the toast was first defrosted in the toaster before appearing for a dressing of vegemite. I started working on: Getting transport to and from Picton, accommodation there, all the while waiting for confirmation from Marlborough Sounds Adventures whether they were going to let us have a boat.

Genie’s car needed a new battery, but before that comes about she called the AA for a jump start and took me down to town where I started off trying to collect information about the campsites around the Sound. Seems that there are plenty, and we should have enough time to find another if one is full. It was the same bloke who had given me the tip of using Tapawera Settle on the way off the Wangapeka Track and I used the opportunity to thank him for it.

As the current hat will soon fall apart I went to the Warehouse in search of a new one, and in any case a look at what clothing I might be otherwise interested in buying. Then it was across the way to Countdown for something for lunch (bread, sliced silverside) and then back here. Eventually an affirmative reply from MSA was forthcoming and I got into contact with Christelle about organising our tour.

I noticed that there was a garden hose downstairs and asked whether I could use it to get the boots and backpack clean. There was only one setting of a ‘screwdriver’ slit that appeared to be particularly effective with the boots, and for the backpack the main thing was getting enough water onto it to wash the salt off.

I sent off a booking request to two hostels in Picton after booking the Atomic Bus there & back. A Super Shuttle directly from Picton to Nelson was exorbitant, so that meant staying one last night with Genie on the 31st, and she was agreeable to that. Later, her friend Chris came around again to work on the hen house.

The next tour of town netted about half a dozen outdoor shops in search of hats; in the end I think only Rollo’s had any usable hat (one with neck protection and a chin strap) so it’ll be back there tomorrow; will have to consider Kathmandu’s self-inflating pillow if it is really at half price and can be stored flat (rolled up it will not fit into the pack with the sleeping bag). Then a bit of a wander around town, but there were so few ice cream (not gelato) places and I had to settle on Night’n’Day for a hokey-pokey ($2.9). Discovered one other Italian/Spanish eatery (Comida) but will opt for the other pizza place tonight.

The glasses that I had been given in Tapawera were a little too strong to be wearing around for everyday use, so I decided I would look for something closer to my ordinary strength and most of the dollar shops had pairs for $2. One even had intermediate strength glasses of 1.75 diopters, and they seem to be working fine.

Returned here to dump the empty backpack and check on progress in the booking field (not much), and the batteries were also slow in charging. Had set PPP to work but noticed apart from the work-in-progress nature of the whole project that rotating the files does not seem to work (DNGs are truncated if they are in portrait orientation). Not good.

Took off for dinner @ Pizzeria Bella, 56 Bridge St, for a medium (15″) Augusta (salami, ham, mushrooms), thin, crisply cooked pastry, possibly enough for two days, and a Mac’s Black for $25.5. Service was a bit lax but otherwise worth a visit.

Finally back for the night, Jugglers’ Rest sent a confirmation for accommodation in Picton. Sent them off a booking for the rear end of the kayak trip, so they can keep watch over what I have to leave behind.