An Accident

Having gobbled our breakfast hungrily, we drove to Cable Bay to spot dolphins, but no luck.

Cable Bay

Then onwards towards the Marlborough Sounds to watch the boats at Okiwi Bay. On returning to Nelson we stumbled upon the Founders Historic Park.

This is a collection of old buildings, including a church, a windmill, a fire station, a school, various shops, and a station. They have been moved from other places and preserved. The park was interesting – a flotsam and jetsam of Nelson social history, including a bike collection and the largest collection of ships in bottles in the Southern Hemisphere. The Ricketts collection has 330 bottles with painstakingly crafted models of ships. One bottle has 15 ships in it.

A small part of “Ships in bottles” collection

We wandered in the charming Japanese garden and then drove into town for supper. It is not always easy to find eating places open for business on a Sunday evening in New Zealand. The Kiwis fiercely protect their work-life balance. However we ventured back to Upper Trafalgar street near the cathedral and found a shady table. Ambiance was provided by a bearded busker on keyboard playing “take me home, country roads”. We tucked into burgers – keeping a wary eye on the predatory seagulls perched on the roof above.

We left Nelson for the final time the next morning, February 27th. Breakfast was taken round a communal table with other guests. Stilted conversation proceeded over eggs Benedict and sour dough bread before we gathered our baggage and began the steep climb to the car park.

It was at this point that it happened. I stumbled on the steps where the handrail faded from view, and fell heavily on my left hand. I heard a sickening crack. Hubby wanted to go back to find ice. I was in denial and said we should carry on, hoping it was a sprain. It soon became clear that it was not. So instead of the lovely day we had planned in the Sounds, we drove for an hour, wooshing past the beautiful marina at Havelock and on to Blenheim on Highway 6. We hunted down the hospital; not as easy as you might think because someone with a sense of humour had turned the signpost round. When we finally got there the Urgent Care unit took money and x-rays and told us what a busy Monday morning it had been, (there was one other patient in the waiting room).

An accident

By lunchtime I was in plaster, bandages, and sling with a fractured wrist. The cheery staff told me to use a walking stick from now on because three legs are better than two, and gave me a free plastic bag for the shower.

Hubby gathered me up, put my seatbelt on for me, collected a prescription of Paracetamol and Ibuprofen and found the next motel. Ironically the only room we had been able to book was the equivalent of a NZ motel Royal Suite. It had a bright yellow front door, steps to an upper floor, and a balcony overlooking the “commoners”. I struggled up the stairs with true appreciation of the benefits of accessible accommodation. At least we had a kitchen and a comfy sofa, and Hubby had to do all the washing up. Silver linings.

The emergency rations were gone so we went out for KFC. The finger-lickin’ chicken and chips could be eaten with one hand, although the gravy and mash was not as straightforward. Whose idea was it anyway to serve fried chicken with mashed potato as well as chips AND a bread roll? Triple carbs. And the gravy is just daft. Perhaps I am being very English. Needless to say I dropped quite a bit on the floor or down my paper hospital sling. I have great admiration for anyone who has to manage with less than a complete set of limbs.

Readers may be pleased to hear that we were now on the home run of our unplanned journey in South Island. We were about to begin the return drive South on Highway 1 to Christchurch airport.

Onwards to Kaikoura – very carefully!

Nelson to Blenheim

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: