After a 3 hour drive we arrived in Russell ready to meet our new friend and explore the backside of our home exchange. Chris our host, owns an art gallery in Russell and the moment we walked in she made us feel right at home. Within minutes we were roaming the gallery with cappuccino in hand. Just Imagine, www.justimagine.co.nz is a super cool gallery filled with original pieces from some of the best artists in New Zealand but also has pieces from around the world, with Lou and me both being art lovers we were in heaven.
Chris was busy at work so we took a few minutes to walk around town, as sat and had a beer watching the dock where all the tourist and locals launched for their daily sailing expeditions, we noticed a bunch of the local boys playing like I remembered as a kid, running and playing, jumping off the dock over and over, enjoying life in its simplest form, no video games, no TV. There was a clear sign that said “No Swimming or Diving Off the Wharf” but these kids just ignored the rules. My kind of kids!
Chris and Terry’s (Terry was out of town during our visit) house is up on the hill above the water a beautiful home with a beautiful view that exhibits their love of art. We took several walks along the beach and along the cliffs of Russell with Tui and Koko (her dogs). Breathtaking views and having Tui and Koko around salved our missing Jazz and Addie.
Lou and I have done 5 home exchanges now and everyone of them have been amazing experiences where we have left with life long friends.