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Published: March 17th 2018
Saturday is, of course, parkrun day. We have to set off at 6 am to make it to Lower Hutt in time. The route is out and back along the River Hutt. The course description states that “on a calm day this will be a fast and scenic course”. Luckily it is a calm day and it is indeed a scenic course. I don’t feel qualified to comment on whether it’s fast. It features a split start with the faster runners running along the riverside, while the slower runners start at the top of the river bank and run down to join the riverside further on. A bit of a rolling start for us oldies and fatties. I finish 30 seconds behind the old man. I can see him in front of me but I can’t quite catch him.
That concludes our time on North Island. We head to Wellington to catch the ferry to Picton. We change out of our running gear but showering isn’t possible. The old man thinks this is a problem. I see it more as somebody else’s problem. Once we have dropped the hire car and grabbed some breakfast in McDonalds we have 2 hours
to walk the mile back to the ferry terminal.
So I am allowed an hour in the enormous Te Papa, Wellington’s combined museum and art gallery. It’s a real whistle stop tour, you could amuse yourself for days in here, it’s packed with exhibits with plenty of opportunity to interact. We take the lift to the observation platform on the 6th floor then walk back down to the ground taking in as much as possible in such a short time, working our way through art and Maori culture to social and natural history.
We have time to amble along the waterfront admiring the view and taking photos before boarding our ferry.
I’m not a huge fan of boats. Luckily, after a few blustery days in the grip of Cyclone, it is calm today. Although I am a little concerned that they deem it necessary to tether the vehicles and by the large number of sick bag dispensers dotted around.
It’s a 3.5 hour journey out through Wellington Harbour, across the Cook Strait and through the Marlborough Sounds. My brochure promises me some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world.
I order a basket of
chips with aioli for lunch. The are literally the best chips I have ever tasted. Nevertheless, I am relieved they don’t make a reappearance when we reach open water. The aioli is very strong, thus adding to my odour issues.
Once we enter Queen Charlotte Sound we go on deck to enjoy the view. It is indeed very special with its lush green volcanic landscape and blue-green waters. We even have some dolphins come to dance in the ship’s wash.
We have a short drive on arrival to the coastal town of Rarangi to our B&B. It’s quite fancy and even has a jacuzzi bath. Luxury – my first bath in a month. Then a frantic dash to the supermarket when we realise it closes for the weekend in 22 minutes and it’s a 9 minute drive. We make it in time to buy life’s essentials – bread, cheese and beer and have supper listening to waves crashing on the shore outside.
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