29 November – out to Nelson

 Nelson and its beach
This is a long drive although the road is mostly good.
It’s the roadwork season, which causes a few delays.  There are views of high mountains, capped with snow.
When we arrive we discover a real town full of useful shops.
There’s its Christ church cathedral on a hill at the end of the main street access by many steps, a favourite place for locals to grab lunch, and a saxophonist to play his haunting tunes.
There’s place to buy camera cards and a coffee in a “Traditional European Cafe -established 2011”.   The café is run by a genuine European German with an accent to match.
We wander into a commercial “art gallery” – not much of interest, though there were some prints of local events.
Then there’s the Refinery Artspace, which was set up partly to provide employment opportunities for the “disadvantaged in the job market”.  A nice space, with an outdoor sculpture garden but not brilliantly used. An exhibition inside, on the theme of death, was none too cheery, of course !
We forget to bring our guide book, and we miss the “real” gallery.
Before we leave Nelson, we drive to the west,  a little further as far as the beach, wide open, flat, no swimmers in sight, just a couple of families playing beach games, running around on the sand.
Then it’s back to the road towards Havelock, with a stop at the Pelorus Bridge campsite and cafe, for an ice cream, then Harry and a couple of others dipped in the river, while I paddled and was attacked by sand flies !