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.
29 April 2010
Easter Break - Monday 5/4/10 - Nelson
Fearing I won't get up in time to pick up the rental car, I set my alarm the night before. Once again though I find myself awake long before I need to be. I go downstairs to claim my free breakfast. I have a choice of five cereals along with rolls and six kinds of jam. I eat and pack leisurely and finally head out to pick up the car. The man at the rental place is quite laid back and nice, but I'm so nervous about pulling out of the parking lot and crashing that I don't even notice there's no GPS in the car. However, I make it back to the hostel, where I pick up my stuff and check out, without a problem. With nothing to do until my dad's place arrives, I decide to drive around the back part of town a little to get used to driving on the left. I wind my way to the Japanese garden I had been looking for the day before. After wandering around there for a while I get my notebook from the car. I pick the sunniest place I can find away from the family with yelling children and sit down to write about the days before (oddly enough I don't write about this day until practically the next week). I'm interrupted from my flow several times by screaming children followed by their tired looking parents. Finally it's nearly 12PM and I can head off to pick up my dad. Turns out the airport is a good bit further from town than I had expected. But the airport itself is quite small and I have no trouble spotting my dad. A moment that made me happier than I want to admit, because I really like being here, but I missed him a lot. It took seeing him arrive for me to really realize how much I missed him. I tried not too smile too much because I thought my mouth might get stuck and that could turn out to be rather painful. We load up his stuff and head out of town toward Able Tasman National Park. We stop along the way at the first beach along the Tasman Sea. The sun is out and we're practically sweating just strolling along the beach. We identify shells and try to make out which mountains we're looking at across the water. Our next stop is in Kaiteriteri, where we park, quite literally, on the beach. We wander around taking in the orange sand of the beach, the teal of the ocean, and the warmth of the sun. We end up in Marahau for the night at the beach camp hostel. We have to pay a fortune for our small first food supply at the only little store, but we don't need much for just the two nights we'll spend since I brought along some things. The hostel is no that comfortable. The top bunks (where we're sleeping) are too close to the ceiling and the door between the bedroom and the kitchen is glass so the light shines right through. However, we make ourselves comfortable (as we can) and settle in for the night.