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An Ancient Symbol


Today we drove up the last of the west coast of the south island from Greymouth to Nelson. That’s really about all that happened, so I’ll keep this short.

After getting up and eating the last of our yogurt with a bit of jam, Dore and I headed out of the campervan park and in to the town of Greymouth. Our mission was to explore the greenstone (jade) galleries they have here in search of pendants. We eventually found a very nice gallery, and spent a while looking for exactly the right ones for each of us. Dore found a very nice modified fish hook design with lots of little swoops and frilly things, and I found a dark green matte fish hook.

Having not quite spent enough money for the day, we headed to lunch at an Irish pub in town. I had a very nice warm lamb salad and Dore had some fried calamari. Afterward, we hopped in the car and headed north again.

We stopped about an hour later to get gas. The traffic was pretty light, so we decided to take the plunge and have Dore drive on the open road for the first time. We both crossed our fingers, took a deep breath, and set off. We needn’t have worried much. Dore continued her streak of driving like a champ, and we were on our way in no time. There were a few times where we switched into the wrong gear here and there, but for the most part Dore’s driving left nothing to be desired. I was a bit worried when we started into some curves and hills, but she just kept on trucking with no problems. I quickly relaxed, and we kept on all the way to to top of the pass overlooking the drive down into Nelson.

At the top, we stopped for a few minutes to stretch our legs and use the facilities. But soon we heard an ominous buzzing. A few seconds later we found out where it was coming from: an enormous honey bee was buzzing around Dore’s head. She stiffened, hoping it would go away, but instead it landed: right on her new pendant! She could feel it on her, and I’m amazed she didn’t freak out. But then the bee flew off, only to land right on the tip of Dore’s nose. The bee was so big that its body completely hid her nose. I knew this was going to be too much, and I could see Dore start to lose it.

Quick as I could, I sprang into action, swatting the bee from her nose. Luckily for both our sakes the slap landed true, and the bee spun off into the air. We both immediately ran from the site, waving our hands above our heads frantically.

We tried to take a little walk, but more bees kept pursuing us, and we quickly returned to the car to escape. We decided that Dore’s pendant must be an ancient Maori symbol for beekeeping, but we wanted no more of it. We started up the car and got the heck out of there. I drove the rest of the way to Nelson, where we pulled into a holiday park and took a breather after the long day’s drive.

After a few minutes of resting, we walked to a pirate-themed restaurant called “Smuggler’s Cafe,” where we had a nice dinner of smoked salmon and blue cod, a couple of beers, and a delicious brownie for dessert. Full beyond belief, we walked back and got ready for bed. We wrote some notes and read before turning in for the night.

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  1. April 18th, 2010 at 10:38 | #1

    Haha! Loved the bee story!

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