It has been a whirlwind two weeks since we arrived in Mapua. In the short time we have been here we have become part of the family with two girls (9 and 11 years old), a dog, a new kitten, two chinchillas and three horses!
On our first day we arrived a little bit early and spent some time in Nelson. We went to Founder’s Park, a reproduction of an old town in New Zealand. It also has the only organic brewery in New Zealand, Founder’s Brewery. In case you are wondering, organic beer tastes exactly like regular beer, the only difference being that they charge you $45 for a 6 pack! After that we went for dinner to meet our new hosts.
The next morning we had our first day off in nearly 3 weeks so we enjoyed sleeping in and lounging on the couch for the entire day. That evening we helped our host, Kim, with a dance she is working on with her dance class (she is the teacher). We both dothed tutus for the occasion and had a really good laugh the whole evening.
We did eventually start working and since we have been here have done mostly gardening work – weeding, planting, weeding, digging up plants to replant elsewhere, and more weeding. Just like Marlborough Sounds, we only work half days here, but we have worked a few full days now so that we can have full days off.
On our first day off we did a hike in Kahurangi National Park called the Lodestone. It felt like we were mountain climbing instead of hiking, but once we got to the top of the 1,450 meter mole hill completely dripping with sweat (as usual) the view made it all worth it. We have 360 degree views of everything around us. We could see the Tasman Sea, Nelson, and Mt Arthur (the largest mountain in the area). If that wasn’t good enough, then we got to go DOWN hill, which is always the best way to experience a hill in my opinion.
We’ve also been to some very nice drinking establishments since we’ve been here since there are a wopping 10 breweries in the area, we feel it is necessary to sample all the local beverages. We have a printout of the beertourist.com’s website detailing all of the local beer spots and we are ticking our way down the list!