Thursday, December 4, 2014

Picton, New Zealand

The Rough Guide travel guide placed the location of my hostel on the wrong side of town. I booked a bed at the Tombstone Backpackers, next to the graveyard. It is run by a couple and they have tried to make the hostel homie. They have succeeded! They picked me up in their minivan as I was walking down the Main Street looking lost. I showed Gary the owner the guidebook, and sure enough, the guidebook has the hostel marked in the opposite side of town, nowhere near the graveyard.

The hostel is on a hill next to the graveyard, walking distance from both the train and the ferry staion, on the "wrong side" of the rail tracks - the opposite side from the center of town.

All rooms, including the dorms, have panoramic views of the bay. The hostel offers free wifi, coffee and tea, and free breakfast, which includes homemade scones. The facilities includes laundry, pool tables, full kitchen, outdoor BBQ, and a hot tub. Also included are cute pets - a fluffy white cat I first took for a pillow, and a dog.

Picton is a cute seaside resort town, with ice creams and jem stores. It is also the host of the New Zealand Ruby Rock aka Goodletitle. It is a gemstone comprised of ruby, sapphire, and tourmalines. These three precious stones were fused together 40 kilometers under the earth through volcanic action. Westland New Zealand is the only place on the planet this rock is found, and was only marketed as a gemstone appx 30 years ago. Locals just thought these pretty rocks looked good in their gardens, not realizing the crystal makeup of the unpolished stones. The stones were originally dug up during the gold rush era and tossed aside by the miners. Now these stones are treasured and cost thousands of dollars retail. The combination of the three stones melted together gives each rock unique color and designed, some stones looking like clusters of purple grapes cut with green strings of kelp.

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Location:London Quay,Picton,New Zealand

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