I spent the spring semester of 2010 studying in New Zealand through the ISEP program. I used this blog to keep an account of my school experience and as a record of the adventures I found. Hopefully it can serve two purposes: to have kept my friends and family informed of my travels and experiences; as well as to serve as a reminder of how important the study abroad experience is, whether it's in New Zealand or not.
24 April 2010
Easter Break - Sunday 4/4/10 - Wellington to Nelson
The clocks go back an hour at 2AM so I get an entire extra hour of sort of sleep. i leave the hostel at 7:10AM and walk across the street to the train station where the ferry shuttle leaves from. I get to talking to the woman in line behind me as we check in for the ferry. Her name is Paddy and she's from England. We sit together on the observation deck and talk for the whole trip. When we enter the Marlborough Sounds we get up and walk around to take in the scenery. We bump into some people she met in a hostel at the beginning of her trip. They're a nice couple originally from England, but now just north of NY in Canada. We arrive in Picton 1/2 hour before the buses all leave for Nelson. The bus ride is winding and beautiful. We go through some of the major NZ wine regions before arriving near the beach of the Tasman Sea in Nelson. I check in to a nice looking hostel and they show me around. I share a room with a very nice woman from the Netherlands and two nice, but very quiet other girls. One from the middle east, but she doesn't say where and the other from Japan. I leave my stuff and head out for a walk. The town is totally dead, but it is Easter Sunday. I go up to the botanical reserve and follow the signs for walk 1. Along the way I pass a Kauri Tree planted in the 1950s and make a mental note to find out its significance. I continue upward until I reach the dais marking the geographical center of NZ. After this I walk through an area with sheep grazing next to and on the trail. They look at me like I"m an alien, but the type of alien they are used to seeing. I wind my way back to the hostel stopping for a little milk to make my mac 'n' cheese. Along the way I hear the church bells start playing. They go on and on and I find myself wandering toward them. They're enclosed in a beautiful tower in front of a grand stone church. I sit and listen until they stop playing then finish my walk home in the near darkness. I eat my meal listening to table half filled with Germans teaching a kid with a heavy Scottish accent how to say inappropriate things in German. I crash at about 10:00PM leaving many people just about to start their night out.