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Previous Day: Day 33 – Golden Bay to Nelson

Day 34 – Nelson

Brook Valley Holiday Park

This place is lovely, but is virtually empty. I think about 2 other cabins are occupied. I do wonder what makes a successful holiday park. If it’s to do with location and facilities, I’d say this one had it. So where is everyone?

It may be to do with the ducks. The two from yesterday brought two friends back with them this morning. Word of the crackers is spreading They’re multiplying…..

Nelson City Centre

Can’t say there’s a lot in Nelson to interest tourists (unless you count Kathmandu)…. It’s got all the normal city centre shops, and a road of bars and restaurants. A number of these are playing Irish music at 11:00 am – well, it is St Patricks Day….

We checked out Kathmandu for bargains (none we could fit in the car) then headed to Queens Park. This is smaller than the Botanic Gardens, but looks flatter and had a very pretty and peaceful Japanese Garden. There’s a cafe there too, which did a very good lunch.

WOW (World of Wearable Art & Classic Car Collection

All the guide books said ‘you must see the WOW collection’ – so we trundled off for the afternoon. This can be found just to the south of Nelson, towards the airport, and near the Mitre 10 Mega store.

The yearly World of Wearable Art show was started by a local designer, for a bit of fun. It took off, and is now a business in its own right. It has moved from the original marquee in a small out-of-town location to Nelson’s biggest arena, to (for the last few years) Wellington. This year (2010) I believe it’s on 23rd September (but check elsewhere on the Internet).

Many of the garments take months to prepare, so an exhibiton of some of the best has been opened in WOW’s home city of Nelson. Some of the garments are very impressive – like the one made out of wood veneer and another one made of old tea bags and coffee filters. But I must admit that most of it didn’t do lot for me. No photos either, I’m afraid – not allowed!

I disagree, one the best galleries I've seem, plus the moving display really added sparkle

But in the same building is the Classic Car collection (useful – something for the girls and guys in the same building!). Even I found this interesting. There were some beautiful cars, some very old and others reasonably new. And some quirky ones like the Reliant Robin (resplendent in ‘Trotters Independent Traders’ (TITS) livery), and a bubble car.

Although not usually known for my love of American cars, I think my favourite was a bullet-nosed Studerbaker.

St Patricks Day Celebrations in Nelson

After a snooze back at the holiday park (more ducks – where are they coming from?) we headed back to the centre, with the intention of getting a drink then picking up a Chinese Takeaway. The bar we went into was selling Guinness of course! We settled for our normal cider and lager…. While we were drinking them, a band started setting up at the far end of the room we were in. We were in a prime position, so decided to stay to see what they were like. So we ended up with a bar snack.

The group had a name they’d never have gotten away with in the UK – ‘The Thieving Gypsies’. There were six of them, and they were very crowded. And what didn’t help was that there was a door right by the bass guitarists elbow, which patrons kept on deciding to use! I’m afraid they weren’t the best I’d ever heard – in fact they sounded more like blue grass hillbilly than Irish.

Best entertainment was the guy who decided to nick our table from between us so he could dance on it! Unfortunately my glasses were still on it so came out of the encounter slightly bent. We never did get the table back either, but we’d had enough by then so wended our way home….

(note – a flock of ducks are now sleeping on the grass outside our room…..)

Next day: Day 35 – Nelson to Carterton (via the ferry)

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