26&27/1/16. With the train scheduled to leave at 6.15 a.m. and having to pack up camp, we obviously needed to be up early. Christine set the alarm for 4.15. As a result we were at the station a full 45 minutes before departure time! We did not miss the train.
The railway followed Highway 1 for much of the route into Wellington and, although initially it did not look too horrendous, the nearer to the city we went the worse it became. It was definitely the right decision to take the train. And we also enjoyed some pretty stupendous views of the coast, having been advised to sit on the right hand side of the train.
We made our way to the youth hostel, there bring no campsites in the middle of the city, and checked in. Not surprisingly the room was not available at 9.00 a.m so we left the bikes and the rest of the luggage in locked areas/rooms in the hostel before going for a spot of breakfast – only 5 hours after we got up!
With Christine suffering from the lack of sleep (she needs at least 8 hours at the best of times and more like 10 or 11 hours when physically active to avoid migraines and associated general crankiness) we decided to split up until the room was free at 2 o’clock. This meant that Christine could find somewhere to sit quietly and Stephen could join the free walking tour offered by the YHA.
One of the pearls of wisdom from the guide was that Wellington is the most southerly capital in the world. It is on a similar latitude to that of Rome!
When we met up again it was only briefly to move the luggage into the room and Christine into bed so she could get a couple of hours’ serious shuteye. Stephen went for another walk, this time up Mount Victoria, and enjoyed the 360° view of the city and its environs. The photo is testament to his lack of photographic skills!
These two separations, split by maybe 15 minutes together, meant that we had upwards of 6 hours apart – the most time we have spent out of each other’s company since we left the UK!
Today (Wednesday) we woke to rain, the first since the downpour on the way into Whanganui, more than a week ago. This only encouraged a leisurely approach to the day (it doesn’t take much!) so we had a late breakfast before hitting Te Papa (the NZ national museum) which is very impressive (especially as most parts are free!) and within spitting distance of the hostel. It was then back to our favourite cafe (where we had breakfasted both days) for a light lunch followed by a siesta (for Christine) and online catch up (for Stephen) before heading out for a wander along the harbour, a light dinner and an early night.
It’s a hard life!