Today was meant to be my first day in Nelson and, to be fair, it was. It was, however, also my last day in Nelson. I have already left… But let me start at the beginning of this silly tale.
After failing to climb the Franz Josef glacier due to financial restraints (I am bankrupt), I caught a lift with a wonderful Californian wine maker called Tom, all the way to Greymouth. Here we spent the night playing the piano, eating pizza and sitting by the fire. It was delightful!
The next day, Tom dropped me in Barrytown – possibly the smallest town on the entire West Coast. There, I forged the Emperor’s Blade and spent the night alone in the All Nations hostel, drinking tea, coffee and vodka. The tea and coffee were complements of the hostel. The vodka was complements of Sarah, with whom I walked the Keplar Track.
Early the next morning, I walked the beach looking for precious stones. I found none, but it took my mind off the fact I hadn’t eaten in 40 hours or so. There are very few cash machines on the West Coast. Very, very few. There are also no shops or eateries in Barrytown…
Once the sun was fully risen, I jogged down the road to Barrytown Jade Carving, where a stupendous man called Hamish very patiently helped me carve up some jade. I am not a jade carving natural.
Then, friends, I caught a real life bus all the way to Nelson! I was intending to hitch hike, but when I spotted a $20 ticket all the way from Barrytown to Nelson online, I snatched it up. Along the way, I popped into a shop to stretch my legs and, when the shop keeper saw the state of me (scrawny and covered in jade dust), she offered me free pie and tea!
She also parted with some very valuable information; Tenacious D were playing, in Wellington, in just two days’ time! It was almost too good to be true, except that I was now just hours away from Nelson – the city I had been aiming for since I left Queenstown a week earlier.
Was that all it had been? A WEEK? Christ. The road is fucking hard. The road is fucking tough. There’s no question that it is rough stuff.
So that evening, slightly peeved, I arrived at Paradiso Hostel in Nelson, where I met Lucas (with whom I had been hitch-hiking) and Alex, who I met in Byron Bay! 50 hours after my last meal (pie excluded), Alex fed me some beef burgers and we went out drinking at a local open mic night.
The next day, I bid farewell to Alex (who was heading to the South Island) and spent my day strolling around the lovely city of Nelson, which was just as pleasant as I had been expecting. Come late lunch time, I stopped for cakes and cappuccino.
Then it hit me. Tenacious D were playing. That very evening. In a city I was going to anyway.
What was I thinking?!
Half an hour after the doors of the Opera House opened, my last-minute 11-seater ‘plane touched down at Wellington airport. Partway through the Sasquatch’s opening set, I burst through the doors, dripping with sweat…and demanded beer.
Then I took my seat. Dead centre. 8 rows from the front. HOW?! The Gods themselves only know, but I feel I was being rewarded for fulfilling my rock destiny.
Thus, it happened: