A Travellerspoint blog

Opera in the Park

Saturday, February 16

It was laundry day for me today. It's so nice hanging the clothes out in the sunshine, and with the nice breeze they were ready to bring in by late afternoon. We got a picnic supper together and left for Nelson around 4:15 or so. Opera in the Park is held in a rugby pitch, with a big sound stage set up at one end. The Wellington Orchestra was on stage for the whole evening, accompanying various opera singers and also, pop singers. I'm sure it was quite an experience for these pop singers to have a whole orchestra backing them up! It sure was magic for us and they ended the evening with a fireworks display accompanied by the orchestra. We managed to meet up with our friends, Andrew and Helen, at the park. Waiting for the Opera

Waiting for the Opera

Enjoying the Day

Enjoying the Day

We all sat together and shared the experience. Andrew is the doctor who delivered Tani at home in Regina. It was a great evening. They really know how to do entertainment here - Nelson is a city of only 50,000 people but they sure do have culture!

Posted by katdill 11:05 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Abel Tasman Park

Monday, February 11

Murray, Rob, Don and I went off early in the morning to Kaiteriteri to catch the water taxi up to Abel Tasman. We have done this on other trips and enjoyed it so much we wanted to repeat it. We got off at Bark Bay and hiked down to Anchorage Bay to get picked back up. This is a 4 hour hike of 11 or so kilometers. We stopped along the way to eat our lunch from our backpacks, but mostly we kept moving so we could make it in time to have a swim before the boat came back for us. That's a lot of walking for me, in particular. But I made it, with sore feet and hips by the end. Then home for supper and a liberal application of beer to ease the pain!!Setting off on the trek

Setting off on the trek

View from the track

View from the track

Posted by katdill 15:53 Archived in New Zealand Tagged tasman abel Comments (0)

Arriving in New Zealand

February 9 and 10

Donna and Murray met us at the airport and took us downtown to a street market. We watched a busker perform for awhile and then had a look around the market and some lunch at a pub. Ammy met up with us and it was so good to see her again. We all went home to get settled in and have supper. Lovely to eat outside on the patio and have a fire in the fire pit when it gets dark.
The Front of Murray and Donna's house

The Front of Murray and Donna's house


Sunday afternoon we drove over to Mapua to visit some shops and galleries. Lots of great stuff to look at. After supper we went into Nelson to listen to a musician performing at the vegetarian restaurant. It is a tiny place and we had to get a table where we couldn't see the musician, but we could enjoy his music. Very nice.

Posted by katdill 15:42 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Rarotonga

February 4 to 8

We had an easy flight to Rarotonga and a very expensive cab ride($80) to our accommodation, which is on the other side of the island from the airport. It was a rainy, drizzly day so we didn't do much. Went out for lunch and the guys went and rented a car. The next day it poured rain all day, very windy and amazing amounts of rain. We did a little exploring and shopping with the car. Even visited a local craft brewery to taste their wares. Finally on Wednesday, the sun came out and the guys went snorkeling. I walked a long way down the beach and back and then cooled off with a dip in the ocean. The old lady, Annie, who lives by us was in the water picking seaweed. I went over and was standing talking to her when an eel came straight at me. I yelped and jumped (I hadn’t seen any fish at all in this lagoon up to then). Annie asked what and I told her an eel, it started swimming toward her and she beat the top of the water with her hands to scare it off. That worked and it went back into the coral knob I guess it came out of. I must have been too close or something. So that got me out of the water pretty quick!! We went out for supper at a nice restaurant and had a lovely meal, but I can't believe the prices here. I guess I'm just a small town girl. Thursday was another good day with beach walking and snorkeling in the morning and then after lunch it was time to take the rental car back and go to the airport. We had a good flight to NZ and spent the night in an airport hotel. We are now at the Auckland airport awaiting our flight to Nelson.
Rarotongan dog fishing

Rarotongan dog fishing

Posted by katdill 13:52 Archived in Cook Islands Comments (0)

Church and Eco-tour

Sunday, February 3

Today we went to church. The first Sunday of the month, everyone was dressed in white and they were having communion, which we didn’t stay for. The Cook Islands Church, where the service is mostly in Maori, has the most wonderful singing. They sing in Maori, acapella, with no direction. Apparently, different villages are responsible for different songs each week. So they know ahead of time, but I guess they all know them by heart, anyway. Just wonderful harmonies and great acoustics. It felt like the sound was all around and thru me. I think they are all such nice people because they sing like that every week!!
After we got back home, Don and Rob went down to the tumana, a kind of men's club in the bush, where they drink home brewed beer that hasn’t fermented long enough to be very powerful.
Rob with homemade beer

Rob with homemade beer


Then we got picked up by Birdman George and his assistant, Tony. We climbed in the back of his truck and away we went on an eco-tour. He showed us different birds and plants and told us the uses for them.
Weaving my own plate

Weaving my own plate


After several hours we went down to the beach and he fed us a picnic. We had woven palm leaf supports for our banana leaf plates. We had fresh coconut and passionfruit that they picked on the way. They also cut the palm and banana leaves and showed us how to weave them. Good food and a very interesting afternoon.
Don with his beach picnic

Don with his beach picnic

Posted by katdill 21:34 Archived in Cook Islands Comments (0)

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