Day 29 Day of Surprises

Trip Start Jan 18, 2010
Trip End Apr 06, 2010

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Where I stayed
The Bella Vista Motel

Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Monday, February 15, 2010

Long ride from Nelson to Hokitika (when we forget the name of this place we call it Hokey Pokey) We had planned on going to Westport but Paul said it was going out of our way and nothing really important to see there. I think I cancelled our motel in W but I'm not sure. I was on the phone with the receptionist I told him we wouldn’t be able to make it and asked if we would be charged- I have no idea what he said.

Well I expected today to be a waste but it turned out nice. We are in a Motel called Bella Vista. This place is cleaner than my house. What a surprise. If all the motels in NZ are like this I could have saved a lot of money. We were given a handicapped room (probably since we booked so late.) It is perfect for me –there are bars in the shower and a seat.

The town of Hokitika ( a former gold rush town) was also a pleasant surprise. It’s a cute artist town. Of course we got in after 5pm and almost all the stores were closed. I missed the Ruby Rock Gallery which sells Goodletite (which contains ruby, sapphire, and tourmaline crystals.) Hokitika is the only place where this is found. I did go to one really nice store where I bought a beautiful silk blouse handmade and hand painted ( in a Paua shell design.) I also bought some Rimu utensils (spoons etc.) I wish I could buy some furniture but it would cost a fortune to ship.

The Maori meaning of Hokitika is 'place of return" since the Maori kept returning to Hokitika to collect pounamu (local jade also called greenstone) At the Jade factory you can watch artisans carve pounamu. They use a thin electric chisel that uses water like a wet saw. Of course the more intricate the carving the more it costs. After spending lots of money- it was a good thing the store was closing- we went to the beach. I had heard it was famous for its driftwood. It was incredible. Also there were so many beautiful beach pebbles on the shore. Even though it was cold I couldn’t help but stay awhile. Later we returned for a beautiful sunset. I really would have loved to stay longer. D was happy to get steak for dinner.

I booked a flight from Queenstown to Christchurch so D wouldn’t have to drive too much and we would have more time to see things. RO
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