it started raining again and didn’t stop for 2 days, but on the last the of the year the weather got better. i cycled towards nelson and wasn’t sure if i would find a place to stay as the town would be rather busy. half-heartedly i asked at two hostels, earned just some sympathetic looks, saw a couple of ‘no vacancy’ signs and changed to plan b. which was to buy a bottle of wine, get some decent food and cycle over the maungatapu road, a 4wd track and a shortcut to the east. it turned out the road is closed after the heavy rainfalls within the last few weeks. alright, time for plan c which is more or less plan a, finding somewhere to stay in nelson, with no plan b an thus more effort. the campgrounds closer to town were booked out as well and i ended up at the biggest holiday i have ever set eyes on. without the map you get at the reception it would be a challenge to get to the right campsite. while i was setting up camp i already had some entertainment coming from a stage nearby with a band playing rock classic from the last 50 years. they spoiled ccr’s ‘fortunate son’ and acdc’s ‘you shook me all night long’ was not in the vocal vocabulary of the singer, but they nailed a couple of other songs and succeeded in entertaining the few people in front of the stage and the majority of the campers which preferred to stay at their site and listen while sitting in their chairs and having a drink.
i got invited by my neighbours, turned out they were german as well. i guess we were both a little disappointed at first but got on well once into the conversation. this disappointment might happen once in a while as i have never seen so many germans in any foreign country so far. we made our way into the city center an hour before midnight. there was another stage at the central trafalgar square and a band playing mostly songs by ‘the doors’. i had my doubts if ‘the doors’ would be a fitting soundtrack for a new year’s eve celebration. but i have to say, it does the job very well.
the music changed sometime after the countdown and we continued dancing as long as the band played. later we met four canadian sisters who showed us a bar with yet another band. by then i was pretty drunk and… good night.
the next morning came with a slight hangover, the ones you can get rid of with a cup of coffee, a cold shower and a hearty breakfast. i kind of missed out on the cold shower and the hearty breakfast, which accounted for me still not feeling to well during the first kilometers on the bike. luckily i had some time before the serious climbing out of the tasman bay started on my way towards the marlborough sounds.