Trip Start Nov 14, 2008
18Trip End Mar 10, 2009
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Made the drive down to Wellington. It took around 6 hours but that did include some stopping for lunch etc. This road takes you past the Tongariro National park home to some of the Lord of the Rings sets. There is a
I'm really impressed with Wellington, the city is based around a number of bays with lovely wooden houses all perched up the hillsides. The city isn't particularly big & it takes only 20 minutes to walk from one side to the other. I'm not sure how far the suburbs reach into the hills though. They also have a really nice ocean walkway which loads of the locals use for roller blading & running etc.
Was pleasantly surprised to find that the supermarket across the road was selling Scottish rolls; not quite Bains or Stephens these rolls are definitely of the Scottish type and very tasty; Cant believe we can get Scottish rolls here on the other side of the world but not in England!
Yesterday we had a look around the very impressive Te Papa Museum which is very handily right across the street from the hostel. This is a new Museum and as such is set out in a really interactive way; I personally had great fun climbing in & out of a Blue Whales heart! (not a real one obviously!) They also have a Scottish exhibition which focuses on how the Scots helped shape NZ as they were the main immigrant group. Had a wee break in their very nice coffee lounge where I had quite possibly the best cup of tea I've ever had! Now it could be that I've been away now for over 2 weeks & not had a nice cup of tea in all that time that I really appreciated this particular brew but still it was enough for me to ask what blend they were using! As it happens it was loose leaf English Breakfast from a local shop called the T-Leaf. Needless to say I now have 250grams of the stuff & a tea strainer to boot.
After our cultured morning there was only one thing to do to balance that out & that was to have beer. We sat out on the patio of the General Practitioner on Willis Street & had a few quite marvelous pints of their own Monteiths Pilsner. The Kiwis certainly know how to brew a great pint of lager!Needless to say being out on the patio in summer has its hazards; thanks to my rose body wash & oil a particular bumble bee decided I must be some sort of weird flower & kept flying at me - not one to merely sit down & be attacked I decided to entertain our fellow patio guests to a traditional Scottish bee dance! The patio was also hazardous to the small stupid flys that kept landing in our pints; 2 pints later & we had found a casualty who needed assistance in sobering up. It was a truly happy moment when our little patient flew off (probably right into a bus, but never mind!)
We were recommended Great India for a curry & quite fabulous it was! There after followed a discussion as to what Liam had called his son as none of use could remember. All I could remember was that it was a bit weird & reminded me of the Devil. Jackie then came out with the genuine comment of "its not Beelzebub is it" I just about sprayed my lager all over the restaurant! 5 minutes later we had an equally absurd suggestion of "Satan?"
Tuesday 2nd December
Today we've had a very pleasant 8Km walk along one of the bays. Pleasant that was after we got the car to start - flippen flat battery! Managed though to eventually coax our wee bluebird into action so we could get on our way. The beaches on this bay were made up from very fine flat pebbles/shale which was actually quite nice to walk bare foot on - not so good with my shoes as the wee stones kept getting in through the holes & causing great discomfort. Also causing me great discomfort on the way back was Jackie as she kept taking photos of me walking like Gollum along the sand in my bare feet!
Wednesday 3rd December
Today we crossed the infamous Cooks Strait which can be one of the worst channels in the world when the wind/weather gets angry. Today the wind was very angry! on board you couldn't really feel the waves too badly but a trip up on deck soon let you realise how bad it was! The tides also meet just off the coast here adding to mental water - some of the waves were really quite scary looking; despite my ancestry in both the fishing industry & the Navy I really haven't inherited the sea legs!
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