Half-way through my trip as well as half-way through my two weeks in Wellington. Although I’m taking things easy, time just seems to fly by. As you can see from my tweets, I’m feeling very happy here and having a marvelous time. I guess a part of me will always consider Wellington my second home…
When I left New Plymouth yesterday morning, it was beautiful weather and I got to see the mountain (Mt. Taranaki, that is) in its full glory for the first time since my arrival.
I had such a great time with Denise, Ross & co. but honestly, I had butterflies in my stomach when the bus finally got to Wellington (it’s a 7 hour trip that took almost 8). First you get to see the city from the bay, and the bus stop is right at the train station, where the railway campus of Victoria University is, where I had most my classes. I ended up taking a taxi to my accommodation, a student hall that rents out its rooms during the summer trimester – I get to pay by the week for my very own room (very basic, with shared facilities but my own and with 4 gigs of free wifi to boot), which ends up being quite a bit cheaper than even a dorm room in the YHA would be.
Visiting my oldest kiwi friends Denise & Ross (we met in California in 1999!) and their four kids is almost like coming home every time – when my bus arrived Monday night, they were waiting for me, the kids jumping up and down, screaming my name. It was so cool, especially considering that the youngest was only about a year old when I last saw her, but they’ve all completely embraced me as a family member that they just happen to see very rarely. A great way to start my time here!
Denise also took the time out of her busy days to go for some lovely walks with me, allowing me to revel in the beauties of both New Zeland forest and sea. This country is simply so stunning, it takes my breath away…
I’ll be here until Monday morning, when I’ll catch the bus to Wellington. As much as I love it here in New Plymouth and with my friends, going to Wellington feels like going home…
It’s 7am – I managed to sleep until about 5:30, which isn’t too bad, I guess, considering the 12 hour time difference.
Right now no actual photos from NZ, because I spent most of yesterday on the bus where motion sickness makes me wary of snapping pics (not that the landscape wouldn’t have warranted it – the journey from Auckland to New Plymouth has lots of turns and bends, but is also rather stunning). This is the only one so far, taken after I finally arrived at the airport hotel:
I’ll be spending the week with my friends Denise, Ross & their four kids near New Plymouth, so I have lovely wireless access. This gave me the opportunity to find a new Twitter plugin, so we’re rid of those annoying single line posts and should get a daily digest of all my tweets instead.
I promise the next post will actually be an update about the trip! 🙂
- Short stop in Singapore to change planes. I love Changi airport, but it's slightly surreal with its fake trees & birdsong… 12:47:59, 2013-11-24
- Kia ora, Aotearoa, I made it! Am in the airport hotel, freshly showered – bliss. 1:30am & jetlagged, will try to unwind w/ a ginger beer. 🙂 14:29:33, 2013-11-24
At the airport, just said goodbye to my mom. Now on my way to the gate. Guess who managed to bang up her knee (again) last night?
What was I thinking w/ this huge suitcase? It’s not too heavy but terribly awkward & doesn’t roll smoothly. Good thing I’m not going far. :p
Making the most of my surprise extra day in Wellington – even the weather is playing along, brightening up for an afternoon trip to the Botanical Garden. I even discovered something I hadn’t seen before: the old cemetery above Thorndon, between the gardens and the city centre, which makes for an interesting contrast. I’m so glad for this, it’s much nicer than leaving in the middle of a storm…
So my time here is officially almost over. Here’s my last week in Wellington:
– Saturday: Dinner with friends at Southern Cross, then out to a bar and dancing.
– Sunday: Last time at church.
– Monday: Saying goodbye to Adeline and an evening at Strawberry Fare with my friends from church.
– Tuesday: Miriam and Charlotte come to Wellington and I give them a tour of Wellington.
– Wednesday: Birthday lunch for Jessica. Getting stuff done like waiting for the courier and closing my bank account.
– Thursday: Visit to Te Papa Tongarewa museum. The evening is spent hanging out with Jessica, Rathy, Michelle, Supriya and Celia, eating takeout and watching TV.
As always, all photos can be found here in my Flickr album. For Australia I’ll start a new one.
Tomorrow Rathy will take me to the airport at 4am, because my plane leaves for Melbourne at 6am. I seriously can’t really believe that I won’t be coming back here, not for a long time at least. But here’s the itinerary for Australia so far:
July 25-30: Melbourne, staying with my friend Sonja
July 31-August 2: bus tour to Adelaide
Aug 3-5: Adelaide
Aug 6-7: Ghan train to Alice Springs
Aug 8-10: tour to see Uluru/Ayers Rock
Aug 11-13: Ghan train to Darwin
Aug 14-24: travel down the west coast by Greyhound
Aug 25-September 1: Perth, staying with my friend Nancy
September 2: flying to Singapore, where I’ll stay with my friend Amy
September 6: arriving in Zurich
Kia ora from Aotearoa – I’ll talk to you from the land of kangaroos, folks! 🙂
Edit: My flight was canceled because of the strong wind and rain we’ve been having here. I was told to call tomorrow about a later flight, but in any case I’m booked for Saturday.