Apparently Motueka is not the most accessible place in New Zealand and it takes us a few buses and a couple days to get back on to the mainstream route
. Our first stopover is Nelson (yes the bus driver did pick us up and drop us off at our hostels – I’m going to be disappointed when I have to use bus stops again!) We had briefly passed through Nelson about a month ago and so we spent our day in Nelson in the Saturday market getting used to people again and then retired to a free house beer garden to sample some local beers. Not too many, as a pint cost $10 (£5) but then again I did find a beer that tasted like bubblegum. This helped endure the pain of not only the cost of a pint but also the constant attack from sandflies, very persistent small flies that seem determined to bite our legs and feet – one of the downsides of New Zealand, but I guess it can’t be perfect!
Next morning and we are on a bus to Kaikoura to finally find some whales.
We survived working 10 hours a day, 6 days a week for three weeks minus some rainy days – luckily our colleagues were not keen on rain and even less keen on working in it. At the first sign of the rain they are back in the car on their way to watch TV for the rest of the day. One day we did work through the rain – it wasn't worth spending the next 48 hours drying out our shoes and clothes. The work was a bit mind numbing at times but livened up by the fear of pruning the plants too much and killing them (the fear instilled in us by one of the supervisors...) We definitely met some interesting characters and got to work outside in the sun so overall a worthwhile little stop in our travels. But definitely glad to be back on the travelling side of our trip.