From Nelson, we made our way for the night to Motueka, a relatively unremarkable place perhaps, but somewhere with a gritty attraction to it, as well as a rather fabulous saltwater swimming pool. And to give it it’s due, anywhere when the sky is cast iron grey has its beauty odds stacked against them. We rather like places like that though. There’s little merit finding obvious beauty: more rewarding, surely, to find it in run-down avenues of empty bungalows and weathered tables, rusting roofs and old crates.
We stayed in three wonderfully quirky huts, called Birdsong Sanctuary. Backpacker hippy style, run by the incredibly friendly Ellie with dodgy hair, we listened to the tuis sing and fantails dance, and ate a sort of picnic supper in a tiny little two-but kitchen despite the rain pelting down…..the joy of having the time to enjoy all this unremarkable-ness is priceless.