À la Recherche des Maoris (10): a window on a French Connection (Nuku’alofa-Nelson)

It has now been a month since I’ve started my journey to the Southern Seas…

This 10th chapter has meant a small pause, the passing of an Asian Time Gate, the crossing of a Life Bridge glancing back on the first chapters of this trilogy (Maori, Aborigines, other Indigenous Populations of the Pacific) in 17 chapters but much more stages. It included a cultural orgy in London, Chinese Connection friendship moments in Musical San Francisco, the amazing discovery of Hawaiian Beauty in Oahu and its depth and fascinating volcanic and linguistic aspects on the Big Island, the step into New Zealand Maori ramifications on the North Island, a memorable concert and many cultural discoveries in Breathtaking Taranaki, the historical , political and cultural dimension of the wine and wind capital region, the Fijian political and ethnic beautiful chaos, the Tongan almost intact beauty and authenticity that led me to friendly and warm French aristocratic hospitality in Nelson where I enjoyed an unplanned yet unforgettable passage into 2018…

Traveling on my own over such distances had meant quite a bit of planning of course… yet, my FB friend Carène (aka Sylvie Laparra de Salgues) has been able to entice me into a welcomed alternative to my Kaikura planned NYEve

Carène is a prolific and very witty author I had come across in one of my literary groups on FB… we aren’t quite sure how it happened and we didn’t have much interaction…

I don’t think I even realized she was a Kiwi resident until I posted some photos on FB which prompted her to invite me to change my plans and instead of a lonely Kaikura New Year’s Eve, to join her in her delightful and very “French Zen” artistic lodge, a n’est for all! in charming Nelson ….

To get there from my beloved Tonga, I went back to Wellington for a short night which didn’t prevent me from finally enjoying the luxury of an evening at Peter Jackson’s Roxy Movie theatre in Miramar, I went on the huge ferry from Wellington to Picton and off for a scenic journey across the Queen Charlotte scenic route with a stop in Havelock to taste these huge green mussels.

The spectacular roads among vineyards of Marlborough were among one of my most unforgettable sights in a journey where these are countless

That’s how I reached scenic Nelson, a lovely British colonial city surrounded by surprisingly low tides and a maze of exquisite bays and a haven with a lovely host, with whom I could finally indulge in a family and friendly atmosphere!

We had so much in common that it was almost indecent! Two parallel lives in two hemispheres.

Thanks to Carène, I went up the Centre of NZ mountain, visited Nelson’s Art Gallery et l’art Maori n’est jamais loinand Botanical gardens, Rabbit Island, Monaco (yes…), spent a New Year’s Eve dinner facing the ocean… and drank champagne in French…!

I also got a chance to start the new year with a taste of the Abel Tasman National Park and made a mental note to spend a few days there next time as there are some breathtaking scenic walks!

And while visiting the New Zealand’s Saint Tropez, Kaiteriteri, to realize that it was my first (very brief) encounter with massive tourism but what else to expect on New Year’s Day?

It was hard to part but what came next was unexpected and enjoyable so bear with me as I’m just sipping it through while writing these lines!

References:

Carène Wood, L’Envol

Carène Wood, Les Confidences d’une laide: Petit Roman, Éditions SLDS: Nelson (2007):

18: En prenant de l’âge, la laideur c’est Stamp avec les rides, et on ne sait pas si vous êtes moche parce que vieillissante, ou moche de naissance.

Ce qui peut être un avantage

On se doute quand même qu’au départ on est pas du premier choix. Enfin t’es jamais, j’ai peut-être un petit espoir avant mon retour d’âge.

38-39: Dans mon dos, j’entendais les commères dire : « un aveugle, Martine ne pourra pas mieux trouver ! »

Comme si je cherchais quelqu’un… C’est quand même pénible, vous rendez service et tout de suite, on pense que vous draguez.

Enfin j’ai l’habitude, cela ne fait que continuer.

La vie est ainsi, on rit de moi parce que je suis laide et bécasse.

Que voulez-vous, les gens sont méchants, c’est dans leur nature.

article dans La Nouvelle République

Nelson :

restaurants

Jelly fish Mapua

Oceano Gastro du Rutherford

Suter Art Gallery organic cafeteria

Toad Hall, Motueka

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