With Winter now fully settled in and setting up camp for the forseez, plus with Fiji being something that feels like it belongs in a history book because it was so long ago (I’ve been back from that paradise over eight and a half weeks now. See, history books, no exaggeration!), I was pleased when my wee trip to the capital arrived. Okay, so only a short visit, but the reason being I only came down here was so I could get the Northern Explorer Scenic train back up to Auckland! Carbon footprint tally updated.
A busy, productive, long, yet full of satisfaction, week at work, was the perfect build up to the aforementioned escape. I was pretty much bouncing out the office at 2pm to make my way to the airport, smiling and a-waving to my chums, me and my trusty satchel bid farewell.
Getting to the airport with plenty of time to spare, is also known as beer o’clock. Ordering a froffy topped beveragio and removing my satch from my sturdy back, made me a new friend. Apparently the task of taking my bag off and reaching for my purse is annoying if it takes more than four seconds. For George. George finds it annoying. I’m glad George was annoyed, as he ended up paying for my beer. Cheersta Georgie Porge, you made me winning at life! Thankfully my new acquaintance was flying to Christchurch, as within just a matter of minutes, I realised he was more annoying than reaching for a purse. But, polite and kind all the same. More of those there people wouldn’t go amiss in this wonderful world.
Boarding gate opening alert had me finishing off the golden dregs and heading through security (they found nothing). 15 minutes til boarding, I decided to perve over a few pages of my latest read, “The Moaning of Life“. Karl Pilkington, you are one wise man. Northern, but wise.
With three seats to myself – I’ve not gained THAT much weight, it was just a pretty empty plane, I watched, or rather stared, at the beautiful view that kept me entertained for the duration. Auckland to Wellington, a pretty nifty carefree lil flight. Thanks for your assistance JetStar.
A wee bus trip in to town, and I was at my accomo, YHA, where I checked in, dropped off everything that wasn’t helping to keep me warm, and went off to explore what I’d been reminiscing about for the last cuttle of weeks. You see, I lived in Welly for six months, ten years back now, actually it’s about now that it’s the ten year anniversary I left this gem of a place. Happy Anniversary. Thank you. Of course, a hustling and bustling post work Friday eve, when you’re on your tod, isn’t really the best time to leisurely wander around, or stop off for a tipple to toast your mini break. The drunken lass falling off a barstool and splitting her very smart office workwear in a very unfortunate place, at 6:30pm, is what helped me come to this conclusion. So I decided to just grab an easy dinner (tasty lamb madras if you were wondering) at the food court, head to the supermarket, and head back for movie night at the hostel. Which is just about to start, and as I’m a cinema Hitler, I best shush. For now.
A really good nights rest, and Saturday was here to welcome me when I opened my peepers. I’ve had a terrible return of the ol’ insomnimonster of late, so I tell you what, even whilst staying in a hostel, I for one was splendiferously surprised when my best nights sleep yet, came here. I’ll take that, thank you very muchos. So, Saturday, hello weekend. Hello weekend in the capital city. Yippee!
Up, showered, dressed and outta the door, all before 9am (sheesh, if only I was this much of an eager beaver on a school day aye!). First stop, Sweet Mothers Kitchen for a spot of brunch. Quirky lil venue just on Courtenay Place; great for people watching. Two poached eggs on sourdough, with a side of creamy shrooms, and two long blacks, I was fuelled up and raring to carry on with my day. The weather was nice (usual Wellington wind was obviously in play), few clouds, but warm in the sun, so I wandered up to Lambton Quay and hopped on the Cable Car. Once at the top, I could see the less than finer weather was en route, as well as the wonderfull views of course. A few Kodak opportunities, and a walk through the Botanical Gardens (tip: don’t bother with the Rose Garden during winter. Unless you like twigs.), and I was back in the city in time for lunch. I just opted for a thick shake as the eggs had done me well.
Then, then it was time to sniff out Footlocker and get my mitts on the new Converse Chuck II’s. Ba-baaaa, two pairs, with 10% off, later, I was practically skipping back to the hostel to safely lock them away. I’d been salivating over these sweet sweet soles of meth since I’d been teased on Instagram by Converse some weeks ago, that something, something good was coming. Then when released on Tuesday, I knew I wouldn’t be waiting too long to purrrchase my own.
A ten minute 360 degree turn later, I was heading back out, now welcomed by the rain, it was perfect weather to go and peruse Te Papa. It would appear the entire population of the North Island had the same idea, it was rammed! Unfortunately, I wasn’t willing to wait the one hour and 35 minutes for the Gallipoli exhibit, so I just explored all six floors at my own leisure. With the odd game of Human Bumper Cars thrown in. It’s a great place to visit, to explore, educate yourself, and kill a few hours if it’s raining, so after two hours, my time here was done, and I opted for my all time fave, the cinema, or ‘movies’, as my ever changing dialect seems to have to refer to it as, to the locals. The new movie (see, so quick to yocalise) Paper Towns was on my radar, as was a regular sized popcorn. Pretty good movie really. It’s no ‘Perks of being a Wallflower’, but I enjoyed it all the same. I was also happy to think, there is even a little bit of the character ‘Margot’ in me; a floater, laid back, follows no rules or path and happy to do what I want to do, for me. Although, I’d like to think I’d be a bit more grateful if any friends went out of their way to find me. Ungrateful mare. Anywho… Movie done, popcorn kernels collected in my scarf, it was time to go and buy my breakfast, lunch and snacks (Wellington brings wind AND weight gain perhaps) for tomorrow’s train trip, and come and put my thoughts to blog. Then, some quality chuckle time with Mr Pilkington. Planet Kipster, all aboard!
There I was, speaking highly of my new found friend, sleep, and it goes and stabs me right in the back. Or rather, the all boys room next door to me were getting stabbed in the back. Or they were doing some other sort of stabbing, if you catch my post watershed drift. The noises, by gum they were odd. Anywho, I probably managed around two hours of interrupted sleep, so shouldn’t complain (if there was a sarcasm font available, that would have just been used). Needless to say, I didn’t need my 6:15am alarm, and was heading off at dawn to the train station, satchel and new Chucks in tow.
Having recently watched Friends With Benefits, I giggled as I walked in to the pretty impressive train station (I am not an anorak, let me just clarify that) and may have even said out loud, and not just in my head, “wow, it’s like a Mini ‘Grand’ Central Station”. Rom-com moment very much over, I checked in, grabbed my ticket, and skipped on board the nice train that was going to be my Sunday base, for eleven hours, over on Platform 9 – I felt like I was off to Hogwarts I was so excited. I was suddenly very aware of how much I missed the train journeys from back in England (again, just want to clarify, I am NOT an anorak), a great place to switch off, relax, no cell service (I’m English, why did I just say that?!), and even, a fresh air carriage. What I didn’t expect to find on my train however, was a film crew. Now I’m not a vain human, so my unwashed, unbrushed barnet, my face only sporting a slither of face cream, and wearing the same jumper I had on during my 20,000 step day yesterday, didn’t bother me. However, throw in the lack of sleep having its own check box for appearance rating, I wasn’t offended when only my back appeared on camera (some American travel/wine programme for The Travel Channel). Still had to sign a release tho. Rude.
Enough about my fame, I want you to know more about my days before I take off big time, it’s only a matter of time before the bright lights sweep me off my feet…
KiwiRail: Northern Explorer, thank you. Such a fantastic trip. Would recommend this trip to anyone and everyone. Cost me $99, and even though it was a winters day here in New Zealand, I got to see so much. I surprised myself with not taking my usual gazillion photos on the journey, as I really just wanted to take it in. Let my mind store the images, rather than my SD Card. With eleven hours to perve at the scenery, I definitely took it in. Also had plenty of time to continue relaxing and just clearing my head on a few things. Sunshine, rain, snow, clear skies, black skies, I saw it all. Thanks New Zealand, your beauty has once again charmed me.
Now, time to shower and preen, ready for the queue of agents that will soon be forming at my front door. Ciao xxx