I’ve learnt a lot of lessons whilst travelling but none so worrying as the one I learnt whilst in the supermarket. Turns out is pretty normal to ignore the tills shaking and the lights swinging during an earthquake and just crack on with your shopping. I don’t think the ground moving is something I’ll get used to anytime soon mind, I don’t know how people weren’t concerned about falling tins and milk cartons! Good job Kym and Kyle had a roast on the go to get me over the supermarket shake. A full blown chicken dinner with all the trimmings, including homemade Yorkshire puddings…so I did get my little taste of Christmas after all.
Kyle decided that a scorching hot day was a perfect time to get some exercise and shake off all the cake and BBQ food, so we packed our bags and swimwear and headed up the hills. The first part of the walk took us up steep streets with stunning houses that must have the most perfect views of the Bay, I think Kyle and I found about 12 potentials (don’t worry mum, they all had space for you). As we got to the top of the hill we were met by lush green farm land, trees and stunning sights all around us. We could see Porirua on one side and Tihati Bay on the other, heading over the cliff and along the windy track the sky was clear enough to allow us to see the outline of Wellington and the surrounding mountains, it was beautiful. The weather made for a perfect beach afternoon, good job we packed our swimwear and sandwiches, the sea was actually still and a little warm for a change too, though I did little more than paddle the swimming was left to Baywatch in his bright red shorts.
We’ve never been huge New Year fans so another walk with distant views of the South Islands perfect outline and the beautiful sea below the cliff was a great start to the morning. But with weather as unpredictable as Man Utd’s match scores, the wind and rain soon set in which put us all off standing on Wellington’s windy waterfront to watch the fireworks, instead we joined the masses in Pak’n’Save to buy out all the alcohol, cheese, biscuits, dips and crackers. It ended up being a great evening, with films, alcohol, too much food and board games, surprisingly I even won my first ever game of Scrabble.
I remember when I was about 10 years old, my dad took me to a Barrow FC match, bought me a pie, sat me on the concrete ‘seating’ and settled in to watch the game. I lasted little more than 10 minutes, there were tears and my dad, reluctantly, had to take me home. So when Matt and Kyle suggested going to watch a Phoenix game on New Years day I was a little apprehensive. To make matters worse the weather was bad, real bad, like a scene from the Lake District I even thought I’d woken at my mums house. Nevertheless, at 6.45pm I found myself getting in the car and heading down the motorway towards the Westpac stadium. The wind was so bad it felt as though we were in a boat not a car as we took the 20 minute drive, if it was this bad in there, how bad would it be in an open stadium? The flashbacks started as we made our way inside, bought a hot dog and headed for the stands. Wrapped in my waterproof jacket, blanket scarf and jeans I was somewhat grateful that I didn’t have an umbrella, I would of taken off like Mary Poppins.
To my surprise the football wasn’t too bad, numbers 4 and 21 were an alright bit of eye candy, but even I noticed that this was no Premier League standard of football. In a stadium that can hold 35,000 fans, there was little more than 5,500 of us (4 Adelaide UTD supporters included). But I’ll give them fans some credit, decked out in their black and yellow, they didn’t sit down once, cheering and shouting, my favourite chant being “Same old Aussie’s, always cheating”. It’s a shame that the fans were clearly more enthusiastic than the players, with 7 yellow cards and a nil, nil score I left safe with the knowledge that I still don’t like going to the football, but feeling proud that I’d managed to sit through a full game with minimal moaning. I reckon it would of been alright if both sides had of played the full game like they did the last 5 minutes.
A windy day meant a lazy morning for me and Kym, whilst Matt and Kyle thought it would be a good idea to set off fishing at 5.30am…even if the journey did include a ride over the Rimutaka’s, we all know how I feel about that one. Kyle’s not one for fishing, only ever having caught a duck resulting in a broken rod for his best friend, Bam, but he thought he’d give it a go anyway after Dollar Dave told him that they were hoping to catch a shark. 8 hours later they returned empty handed, not even a mackerel in tow, apparently it wasn’t the right conditions, I personally think Kyle didn’t try all that hard and spent more time playing football with Alfie.
What trip to New Zealand would be complete without one Lord of the Rings experience? Having decided that trip to Hobbiton is way out of our budget and after trying (and failing) to enjoy watching Lord of the Rings we opted to go to the Weta caves instead….although this did result in a trip to a mini gift shop, sorry guys! I didn’t want a guided tour with people gabbing away, it’s just not my thing, but I did think that we would be able to see a little more than a few statues and a sword or two. Turns out that you actually have to pay a bit of money to go into the workshop to see how things were made and used, typically it was fully booked with only tickets for the Thunderbirds exhibit available, we swiftly passed on that one.
Our last day in Wellington has been spent planning for our trip up the North West Coast, washing and packing. It feels odd knowing that we won’t be coming back to Wellington after this road trip, but instead embarking on the final leg of journey and the last stop, America. Once again we can’t thank Matt and Kym enough for their hospitality, it’s been like being at home…I’m leaving well rested and stuffed like a turkey, how will I cope with camp stove food? Tomorrow we’ll finally get the windscreen replaced, after which I’m wrapping it in bubble wrap especially for those unsealed roads, before making our way to the first stop, Whangaui. How I just can’t wait to sleep in the back of the car again…..
Love Carrie xxx