Day 77

Midnight – Upper Hutt James and Karla’s place

I’ve had quite an exciting and leisurely day. Went into the city on the “commuter” train and it felt like being back the UK. It was raining and people looked miserable! I however felt like a bit of jolly sightseeing so here are a few Wellington icon “selfies”.

The Beehive. NZ's house of Parliament.

The Beehive. NZ’s house of Parliament.

kiwi style lavatorial humour which I fully appreciate

kiwi style lavatorial humour which I fully appreciate

Kupe and his wife, legendary polynesian settlers in Aotearoa

Kupe and his wife, legendary polynesian settlers in Aotearoa

Giant Sea urchins or has someone lost their sofa cushions?

Giant Sea urchins or has someone lost their sofa cushions?

Wellington living up to its "coolest small Capital city in the world"

Wellington living up to its “coolest small Capital city in the world”

I met up with Christine for a morning coffee at a nice retro cafe along Oriental Bay. I think Christine is like me and finds it hard to say goodbye to people for what may be the last time. But you never know!

I spent a pleasant afternoon in the Te Papa national museum, it has 6 floors of exhibitions. I particularly liked the passports display on how people have migrated to the country over the years, lots of “human stories” on how they felt and fared in their new home. The natural earth seismic forces display was good too about how nz’s geology has created one of the most tectonically active places in the world (includes an earthquake simulator). And of course I was fascinated by the colossal squid story but couldn’t also help wondering what it would have tasted like when it was fresh!

looking very "Cultchared" in the Te Papa museum

looking very “Cultchared” in the Te Papa museum

Colossal squid specimen, made me go and have sushi for lunch!

Colossal squid specimen, made me go and have sushi for lunch!

Pretending I went to the Art Gallery too

Pretending I went to the Art Gallery too


Caught the train back to Ava station where Felisa and the boys were waiting on their penny skateboards and we headed for the art gallery. This was amazingly nice place with really bright and colourful paintings, photos, pottery etc focusing on Petone and the wider Wellington area. I bought a few nice cards hand picked by Felisa and the boys and we headed for the beach with ice creams. The boys helped create this wonderful marker for my half way stage with the final feminine touches from Felisa perfecting what I consider to be a work of art suitable for any art gallery.
Taking credit for a work of art (thanks Pablo, Marcos and Felisa)

Taking credit for a work of art (thanks Pablo, Marcos and Felisa)


too busy eating my ice cream to look!

too busy eating my ice cream to look!

Barry joined us from his jog and we headed to the wharf and then back home. Picked up my gear (less poles as I’m leaving these in Barry’s capable hands for Pablo and Marcos to share). Barry and Pablo walked me to the station and it was sad to say goodbye to all of them after 3 lovely days. Dad’s shirt has a place of honour and has been left on a “Munro Lemon tree” and if you know about Burt Munro’s methods of feeding his lemon tree you’ll know about this…..the family tradition is still alive!

James met me at the station and their house is only about 100m away. I felt a bit guilty about not having brought the booze (was hoping there would be a shop nearby) but James was a perfect host and a good cook to boot. Got to know James a bit better and am convinced he and Karla make a perfect couple so come on guys get the wedding date sorted! James has a pretty busy job in the army sorting out the operational logistics for the troops based overseas, fascinating stuff about what this entails and also the realities of multi force operations with other countries.

As a fit couple, James and Karla would be hard to beat. James was a bit disappointed he was restricted to only a 73km run at the Rotorua marathon he ran at the weekend (the course was shortened from the 15+ hour 100km run he was going to do because of concerns about the cyclone so he ran a mere 10 hours in the rain and wind!)

So tonight is bringing to a close the final day of my North Island journey, I’ve been getting a bit reflective and can’t believe all that has happened to me in such a relatively short space of time. It’s been a real privilege to have the opportunity to undertake what I can best describe as this wonderful adventure.

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