It should have been an early morning at the Nelson farmers’ market, followed by a drive to a vineyard or brewery. Instead this morning arrived with rain, and lots of it. At times it was torrential, then sideways, then easing off. By 10:30, I’d had enough and we set off for the market.

Along the way we ran into the kiwis from the tramp and half of the Singapore couple. Nelson really isn’t that big, and tourists on a Saturday morning tend to go to the same places, shops underneath the overhangs along Trafalgar and Bridge Streets.

The farmers’ market is half food, half artisan. We managed to pick up a huge celery, bag of carrots, strawberries  and a head of lettuce for about $5. Then NosyNeighbour spotted a covered tent full of discount merino wool clothing, actually made in New Zealand. He bought two long-sleeved tops, and I left empty handed.

But not to worry, I found a stall selling jewelry and finally chose my new paua earrings. We also went back to Mac Pac (remember, it’s pronounced mickpick), but the clearance top didn’t fit and I left there empty handed too.

We also walked up to Church Hall to get a better view of the town. While we were there another couple asked us if we wanted our picture taken together. So she took ours and I took theirs and we chatted for a bit. Turns out they’re from Austria. We laughed about my limited German, but agreed it was the essentials: I’d like two beers please. How much does it cost? Where is the toilet?

They also seemed impressed that we skied in St. Anton but were curious about why we didn’t ski out west. Then they shared something rather amusing … they’d bought helmets for skiing because of all the other skiers who were out of control.

After bringing the produce back to the motel, we set out again to look for a camera bag for the new camera and then pick up the rest of our groceries at the Woolworths. We picked up some lovely strip loin steaks that were delicious on the BBQ. The owner of the motel lent us his and said that we were the first guests to BBQ this year. He set it up by the clothesline in the back.

Speaking of clotheslines, I did a load of laundry after our big tramp. I’d hung it up before the rain, and almost didn’t bring it in when the rainshowers first started. Thankfully we did bring it in and had clothes strewn all over our room. Later on in the day it did become fine and the clothes went back out on the line.

After supper, we took a walk looking for the Botanical Gardens. It seems we had Botanic Reserve and Queens Gardens confused. The gardens were closing up at dusk, so we’ll try them tomorrow.

The Botanic Reserve is actually a bit more like the Gatineau Hills. There’s even a hike that takes you to the geographical centre of New Zealand, and yes it’s up a hill!  We’ll go back tomorrow with proper footwear to see that.  It’s also the site of the first ever game of rugby played in New Zealand. NosyNeighbour enjoyed that fact, but was disappointed to see it used now for cricket.

On the way back, the sun was setting and the sky was an amazing array of pinks, yellows and orange. I hope to be able to sit and watch it set at the beach tomorrow. The weather is looking  much better for the rest of the week. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.