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Published: November 11th 2011
Some spectacular views on the drive to Napier
Left Heritage hotel on the 7th Nov - long drive down to Napier - stopped at Taupo to look around - the lake is huge and the weather was good. The road from Taupo to Napier went through some fantastic scenery - even stopped for a photo (attached) to have picture taken near Waipango Falls (may have made this name up as we forgot to write it down so if you google it and it does not exist don't blame us!
Napier was a beautiful small city with a distinct art deco feel of the early thirties, stayed at the Nautilus hotel opposite the pacific ocean - good rooms with reasonably priced mini bar that encourages you to partake of the goodies. Ate at the hotel as that was also very reasonable (and other restaurants seemed to be closed on Monday).
I am having trouble understanding the Kiwis - the words seem to be spoken very quickly - it could be jet lag, the onset of dementia, deafness or just plain stupidity (them not me of course) - Anne is not having the same problem but I just put that down to her natural talent for languages (not).
Early start on the 8th to drive down to Wellington - again some stunning countryside and a number of small towns that could be in America. Expect to see John Wayne walking down the side walk.
Our first crossing of the mountains was spectacular but there were no options to stop and take photos.
It was about a 6 hour drive from Napier to Wellington. We had a small problem finding the hotel but Weelington is not that big - it just has some one way streets.
We are staying at the Comfort Inn on Cuba Street - the hippy centre for Wellington so we are fitting in quite well even though it is like travelling back to the sixties.
First day - a visit to the main museum - surprising what you do when the weather is wet - it was surprisingly good - there is a screen showing a ship disaster when a ferry from Wellington to Picton sank in 1968 - one of the fatalities was Anne Metcalf - Spooky or what. That is the same ferry journey we take on Friday - Annes worried but it seemed if there was a Steve Metcalf travellingin 1968 he made it so I don't know what her worries are.
Went up the cable car to the Botanic Gardens to view the whole of Wellington. It is very overcast but quite warm.
Tomorrow the Zoo - then on Friday the ferry to Picton and the start of the visit to the South Island.
It has taken until today to get over the jet lag but we seem OK now.
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