The night before our final night on the North Island we checked in to a hostel just outside Wellington. Again we had intended to camp but the weather put paid to that idea. Not before we had driven 15kms up a dirt track into a national park though. The u-turn and return was a little hair raising in the rain.
The hostel was unusual. I’ve been to a retirement home before and this hostel felt a little similar. It also had a huge dog which terrorised Claire. The other residents all seemed to be rather mature which was surreal as we have become used to being the oldest residents. One woman stalked the place trying to find out who was using the washing machine and then later joined us on the sofa where she made strange inappropriate “comedy” comments about the approaching Cyclone in Australia.
The next morning we were woken by the dog and made our way to Wellington and our next Hostel…Wellywood. Which turned out to be a huge surreal sleepery full of New Zealand Rugby 7’s fans. The kitchen and lounge alone was bigger than most hostels we have stayed in.
Wellington itself is a fantastic City. It is the capital city of New Zealand but it is much smaller and more easy going than Auckland. We spent a lovely day exploring on foot. I got to visit the New Zealand Cricket Ground and tour the museum. Strangely the museum included a tribute to Don Bradman (the greatest sportsman ever)…who was Australian. Claire sat outside in the stands waiting, so to make it up to her we rode the cable car up to the botanical gardens.
In the evening we eventually got some decent Malaysian food. Finding proper Malaysian food in Malaysia was a real problem despite the tips from Jon. It was nice to eventually find it, albeit in New Zealand and at 10 times the price.
Claire tells me that the rugby fans didn’t pipe down all night but having perfected the use of ear plugs I slept like a baby.
Sadly the photographs of this day (including me standing on the fine green turf at the cricket ground) are stuck on our camera as I didn’t pack the cable to get them off.
In the morning we made our way to the ferry terminal. The crossing was uneventful at first (no chunder, no crashing waves) but once we reached the South Island the views were awe inspiring. To reach Picton the ferry had to make its way through Marlborough Sound.
(The Ferry – a British Ship previously used for channel crossing to France and back)
(Picton from the hills above)