Thursday, November 26, 2009

Delayed in Wellington

Well we've been in Wellington for a few days now, but it has

been wonderful. It appears that flexi-pass holders have some

restrictions when it comes to the ferry out of Wellington.

There are a limited numbers of seats available to us and there

needs to be 36 hours notice for our departure from the North

Island. No worries, as they say, there is plenty to do here

and the people at the hostel have been very accommodating.

They booked our passage, gave us a discount on the extra day

and booked our hostel in Picton as well. We have to stay in

Picton for a night as the bus to Nelson does not connect to

the ferry that is available, no worries again. Wellington is a

windy city and today it surpassed its reputation with winds

steady at 80k and gusting to over 100 at times. It has been

windy everyday but today I had to brace myself while taking

pictures and sometimes even that did not stop me from moving

backwards. We had to find a hiding spot while eating our

lunch. Well it's out of Lampton harbor and through Cooks

Straight and on to the South Island tomorrow so I had better

get things packed up. Wes

Today we spent the whole day on the bus going from Taupo to

Wellington. We went out for dinner because it was so late,

Indian. The drive, although long, was beautiful. We passed by

Mt. Tongariro and Mt. Ngauruhoe covered in snow. There were

many mountains, hills, cliffs, forests and lots of sheep.

When we got closer to Wellington, we drove beside the ocean

for a bit. It was ominous. Wellington is a very cool and

artsy town. Our first full day in Wellington was amazing. We

are staying right downtown on the harbor. We went to the arts

center and saw the works of a famous Japanese artist who works

alot with dots. The piece that struck me the most was the

room with all mirrors on the the walls and ceiling and mirrors

and water on the floor. There were tiny lights in the room

and it looked like they went on for eternity. After that, we

hiked to the top of Mt. Victoria. The hike was steep but the

view at the top was worth it. You could see out in every

dircetion the city, the bay and ocean. The houses here are

built on hills so even the view of the city was unique.

Finally, we went to the Te Papa museum (all galleries and

museums are free) and saw a Colossal Squid that was captured

near the Antarctica. The next day we hiked up another mountain

to catch the cable car to the Botanical Gardens. It turns out

we could have caught the cable car at the bottom. The garden's

were beautiful, especially the rose garden that has as many

colors of roses as you could imagine. There were a number of

observation platforms where you could look down on the city

and sea. We took the cable car down for the fun of it and then

walked to the land and sea museum. I still can't believe that

most of their museums are free. It was a very windy day and a

little cool at times, especially at the top of the mountain,

but another hiking filled and interesting day. Terry

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