29. Rainy Day in Nelson

Saturday, March 11: Rain overnight & continuing as light showers during the day, clearing by evening

Swimming: 1200 m

Elizabeth’s

The dancing girls had come home around one this morning but didn’t make a sound. I was ready for breakfast at 8:30 and it continued with the three of us for some time. Eventually I had to send a spot signal, confirm the two transport options that had been offered me right at the beginning and at the end. The final Intercity bus had to be booked and in going back one page I had reset the date to tomorrow, so that booking had to be cancelled and then the credit used for a new booking (very complicated and not well explained at all; directly changing the date on the booking didn’t seem possible, although that would have been the easiest solution; this then netted two booking fees of $4 apiece). Having sorted that out there were one or two things left to buy, and on my way to the supermarket found $2 on the street, as well as saving $3 via the tourist club card so everything was back in the green.

Looking into possibilities for staying from the 22nd, found a place down in town for $25 a night including rats, which I very well may take. Georget appears to have something unusual in it when calculating altitude values. Will have to be corrected. The ladies were out and it had gotten a bit late, so I had lunch of three slices of Friederike’s bread, butter and half of the pastrami that I had bought (needed some salt), and an apple. The pool was open until 5:30 and the weather did not look like improving very much, so I went there for a swim (Riverside Pool, $5). Much slower progress today, possibly due to the fresh water (as opposed to the saltwater of St Clair) – about a minute per 25 m. A little crowded as one lane had to be closed for some kids to have a go on a swinging rope. There was a twitch or two from the calf muscles but nothing serious, that is, until I started on the final rounds, when the right calf went into cramp. It was not a permanent one, but the muscle made its presence known for quite a bit of the subsequent walking.

Scouted around town a bit trying to prepare the walk to the tramping shuttle for Monday. The second Countdown did not have any ready to eat sandwiches (but did have some beer on offer which the first one didn’t and which I later bought – Founders 2009 IPA, quite tasty – sixpack of 330 mL bottles for $11), but there is a Day’n’Night convenience store on Trafalgar St that does have rolls ($7.5) and is open from 6:00. KB (Kiwi Bakery, Hardy St) appears to have some more reasonably priced ones, if only I knew when they opened.

Back here the ladies had decided on Pizza Hut and were sharing a pizza before going out to their tango evening. I was getting hungry as well and after farewelling them I took an indirect route to the pizza place I had in mind (La Bella, Bridge St) but by the time I had gotten there they were booked out. Wandering around town this was the case nearly everywhere (combination of tango event, bagpipe march – called off because of the weather – and a junior triathlon tomorrow). I refused to go into the Chinese place that seemed to have spare tables because they had sharkfin soup on the menu, and that left little else than Pizza Hut. However, for $5 their rather rubbery “beef” (minced meat) and onion pizza was manageable. Back here one last time the ladies were still doing themselves up while I consumed the pizza.