christmas week

Hallo! Long time no blog.

I am blogging from Wanaka, a town in the south of the South Island. I have had a crazy awesome time in the past few weeks!

Christmas with Helenka was lovely. She took the bus from Franz Josef to Nelson for a couple of nights and we stayed in a backpacker. That was the first time in a week and a half that I slept in a real bed (instead of my tent) and I slept horribly! Doh! Christmas eve I went climbing with Brendan (an Irish backpacker I met in Nelson who I have been climbing with) and then once Helenka showed up we got frozen yogurt. Christmas and Boxing Day were two BEAUTIFUL days and we walked to the centre of NZ post, had a big bbq pot luck at the hostel, hung out with Brendan and went to the beach with the entire population of NZ. On Boxing Day, we went to Helenka’s relatives (her granfather’s uncle’s grandaughter or something like that) and they had us over for a very nice lunch. It was really nice and they were really friendly! Helenka had not met them before.

A few days after Christmas, I had a day off of berries so I called up Brendan and we went on a super impromptu 24 hour trip up to Paynes Ford, the closest sport climbing area. We stayed at Hangdog climbing camp (more info later), met some great people and had a blast. The only thing that would have made it better would have been to stay there longer.

The berry season ended New Years Eve – I was there for two weeks. It would have been nice to stay there a bit longer, but it actually worked out really well because Brendan was leaving and starting work pretty soon so I’d be losing my climbing partner. It solved my “should I stay or should I go now” dilemma quite quickly, yay! The berry job was really good, the family was super nice and I really go to know one of the other girls who is my age and her mom. They are a laugh and a half. It only paid minimum wage but they let me stay there for free and I also really liked being around so many locals, even though a lot of them were very young. On Christmas eve they brought lots of snacks and desserts and we had a mini work party. It was fun 🙂

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By the way, have I mentioned that boysenberries are THE MOST DELICIOUS FOOD ON THE PLANET!!!

It takes very little rain for a berry crop to be ruined.. they go moldy really quickly. Yuck.

So on New Years Eve I packed up my tent and all my stuff and grabbed the bus to Hangdog Climbing Camp with Brendan… to the next post. 🙂

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raspberries, picked

Two days done at raspberry picking! I am living in a town about a 20 minutes drive from Nelson. It’s beautiful there and the orchard is beautiful. The family is SUPER nice. I am living in my tent beside the giant shed, and there is a kitchen/living area right beside it (with an oven!!! hehe).

On weekdays off, I can get a ride into Nelson with the mom and hang around Nelson for the day. Not too shabby at all.

Raspberry picking is not hard at all but you do have to raise your hands above your head a lot. And my arms kind of look like a person that is recovering from cutting themself. It’s really fine though. I have a lot of down time so I have been reading, listening the radio, walking, doing sit-ups, etc. The town (population 1800) is a 3km walk. There is a cafe there too where I can read the paper.

For the past few days I tune into the radio a lot just to hear about everything in Fiji. Seems like Suva wasn’t hit that hard but the West was.

Christmas plans are shaping up! Helenka booked tickets to go from the West of the South Island (where she is working) to Nelson for a few days. If all goes according to plan we will meet up (I need to find some rides into the city) and spend some time together. They aren’t picking on Christmas or Boxing Day so I will have some free time.

Ooh also, New Zealand has a holiday on January 2nd too! It is called “the day after new years day”. Haha!

raspberries

Today I am leaving Nelson to go work on an orchard about 25km from Nelson picking raspberries and then maybe eventually boisenberries (sp?). I walked around the market yesterday asking all the farmers (sound familiar???? haha) and one guy said he needed more pickers. I’ll be living on site in my tent.

The last day in Melbourne was pretty sweet – Scott, Jessie and I did a Melb food tour kicking off the day with breakfast kangaroo, then dimsims, dumplings, gelato, beer and sushi. OM NOM

Oh yeah! I am in Nelson (top of South Island). I decided to come here because it was circled about eight times in the guidebook that Natasha used. There were maybe a few stops along the way that I would have wanted to stop at, but I ended up seeing seals from the bus (what Kaikoura is about) and there are plenty of hiking opportunities EVERYWHERE. It was a good decision. It is a relatively small town and has the beach, and some hills and lots of sunshine. I walked to the ‘centre of New Zealand’ and went indoor climbing with another backpacker. All in all it’s been a good time!As I talk to more people and read more in the guidebooks, there is so much I want to see here! I need to come around and accept that I will not see everything and I’ll have to come back. … maybe in July when my visa is still valid. (…ski bum?)