Country market to folk trio

Trip Start May 18, 2003
Trip End Ongoing

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Sunday, November 6, 2005

Woke up to a gloriously sunny day in Nelson

Market was OK. Most of the stalls selling the usual fare you see at these small town Saturday markets. Proud of where they are made. Plenty of tastings available: cheese, jams, chutney, fudge etc.

Drive onto Golden Bay

Picked up a couple of local hitchhikers for about 50km

I arrived in Takaka by 3pm and sent Joanna a txt to get final directions for where she was staying. Joanna was one of the Pai5 that I met in northern Thailand, and I was keen to catch up with her again. It had been over two years since Pai and I had managed to meet up with two of the Pai5 (John and Shannah) in Toronto earlier this year.

The way up to Birds Clearing is unsealed, dusty and with a number of sheep ambling along the road. They were seemingly oblivious to my car as I negotiated the steep track and streams, and would only jump out of the way at the very last possible moment.

On arrival at the top of the hill the views of the bay and Farewell Spit were stunning. The town of Takaka stretched out below, with vividly coloured hills in the background.

It was good to see Joanna again, and finally visit the place she has been raving about these past couple of months.

Savitri (who used to call himself John) owns this small five acre sloped plot of land that he is trying to turn into a self-sustaining retreat. At the moment he has built one roundhouse that he lives in, and a couple of other buildings dotted around the

Daniel, Jo and I drove into town

Paul's internet cafe and hostel, watching LOTR Twin Towers (surround sound) while Jo and S on net. Nice to see parts of Tongariro National Park in the background

For dinner we went to the Mussel Inn, where there was a visiting folk band playing later that evening. This modest wood cabin restaurant was the perfect setting for an evening of great music from Blackwood, a Australian trio touring from Victoria.
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