We have cheated a bit and started the tour early. I met Narelle in Wellington on Thursday night to begin a few days travelling round parts of NZ; hardly Intrepid Journeys rather a quick taster. Narelle is working part of the time and I am the bag carrier, which is actually true as I seem to have the bigger bag.
It is not all work. I spent Friday wandering the streets and taking in the sights and sounds of the city. I have not been in Wellington since 2004 and then it was mainly the inside of pubs and a stadium. Narelle on the other hand has travelled here quite a bit with work so she has been able to show me where the best coffee shops, bars and restaurants are. Thankfully I have walked between them - if I didn’t I am sure I would be larger than I am!
It is quite different to be a tourist within your own country but I felt even more of a Kiwi when I sat outside the Beehive and soaked in the political atmosphere. I was not pushed for space as there was no one else there – does that reflect badly on me or was it just that Friday at parliament is not that popular? It is an interesting place and always draws the protest types – there was one man protesting against abortion in the style of the nuclear protester outside the White House. He seemed quite happy with his lot as I nodded in his direction.
It was the most spectacular day weather wise and I did feel sorry for NLS stuck in the West Plaza hotel doing Professional Development for Business Studies. Well to a point. I guess I overcame my worries by buying myself an ice cold pint and taking up a seat on the waterfront and watching the lunchtime people wander by and reading the paper – not a bad way to pass time.
We have eaten well since arriving. The three restaurants we have been to are:
· Arbitrageur: I had Groper!
· Logan Brown: I had whitebait and beef!
· Martin Bosleys: I had Swordfish and squid!
The Martin Bosley meal was superb and was for Narelle’s birthday – it is situated in the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club and we had a clear view of the harbour and the club’s boats racing. I did feel the irony as we ate fine cuisine above others who ate packed lunches - and they were doing the hard work!
So, it has been a great few days and a good way to begin the “Grand Tour”. Routines have been trialled and the suit case has got a workout. We are off to Christchurch early in the morning to catch a glimpse of the city that has been on everyone’s minds since September 2010; should be quite emotional.
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