We drove all the way to Nelson. It was nice, but we got lost around Nelson and then spent hours driving in the traffic trying to find a petrol station, foodstore and then our way out of town.
We were looking where to camp again and whilst crossing this one bridge we saw 2 campervans parked by the river. So we decided to stop and camp with them as well. After a very bumpy ride to get to the river with forks and knifes rattling and cupboards opening, we rocked up and parked next to them (the thought about intruding their space crossed my mind, but I guess no one cares about it that when your camping).
We took a walk to the river's and and passed this little gypsy type village with an abondoned bus parked in the middle and some tents that were made of plastic bags. Lots of people were fishing.
Once we got back to our camper, we saw that the other people had made a fire. We joined them and had an awesome evening. One couple were travelling for a year and the guy was a wildlife photographer, so he had a couple funny stories to tell. The other couple had a very funny van with bunnies and vegeterian written all over it. They said that they came to New Zealand to look for a job, but they got the van and were still travelling after 7 months. We had some beers and it was the first time that went to bed warm!
There were another two vans parked close by and apparently the guy has been living by the river for 5 years. We saw him playing guitar.
In the morning we woke up quite early and were shocked to open our car doors and see tons of cars around us. Apparently it was a whitebait season and people could get up to $28.00 for a kilo for it. Everyone was by that river with their nets.
We decided to spend a day doing salmon fishing. We headed to Anatoki Salmon farm in Golden Bay. (http://www.anatokisalmon.co.nz/fishing.htm ) It looked not too far on the map, but how wrong we were. The road was winding down, so it took ages to get to the farm.
Once we got there, we were given some fish food and two rods and set off to catch some fish. Robert caught one immediatelly. I had some problems with my rod , so I had to use his and caught a huge fat one. Of course, being a gentelman, Robert told me that I had to kill my own fish. Oh well, what a girl needs to do for dinner... My vegeterian days were definately over.
It was interesting to see three old ladies fishing next to us. They obviously were locals and have been doing it all the time instead of going to the supermarket.
The guy at the shop fileted the fish and smoked them for us. It tasted amazing and we had quite a lot of it left to take away.
On the way back we decided to take the Pokara shortcut to save some time even though it had a sign saying ' not suitable for campers'. The road was quite wide and we started to think that the sign was just something against people who drive campervans until the road suddenly turned into a one lane gravel road. And then it got narrower and narrower. I was praying that there wouldn't be any cars coming the other way as passing each other would be impossible. We were driving like crazy with a jar of gherkins spilling all over the cupboad and the constant sound of cutlery rattling. We got lucky and made it down to the highway safely. Never again!
We spent a night by the same river. Today we were camping alone. The people that we camped with yesterday left us some wood so we made a fire. Robert finally opened a beer after a long day and we were cooking potatoes in the fire. The maori guy who has lived in a camper van for 5 years showed up to chat to us. He said he has met lots of people who would camp by the river. But he obviously didn't know where Lithuania was as he called me Russian. Besides, that he was very nice
He would fish for whitebait and then trade it for the stuff that he needs such as petrol and food. Then during the fruit season he would do some picking. He then discussed how to hunt for wild pigs and gave us his recipe for it. So the night was quite fun.
Next day, we again woke up surrounded by cars and all people manically fishing for whitebait. We've left our campsite and headed to Kaiteriteri, where we had breakfast on the beach.
We then went to see famous Apple Rock and were toying with the idea of renting a kayak for a day, but it seemed like too much work especially as the wind was quite strong.
We then headed to Abel Tasman National Park and stopped by this amazing view to have lunch. The Abel Tasman Park was just around the corner from were we had lunch. You can walk the whole track and camp on the beach for 3 days, but we just decided to walk for couple hours. (I definately have to go back to New Zealand and do that full walk! ).
We only made it to the Appletree Bay. It looked like the perfect spot to chill out and have our sandwiches. (We had to fight of a couple of seagulls over it though).
After getting back, we jumped into a van and drove all the way to Kaikoura. A long day