Monday, May 29, 2006

Wellington

We slept in until 10 am or so, our last day with that kind of flexibility for many days to come. We had a meal in the hotel's cafe, your average short-order breakfast. We walked a few blocks to the Museum of Wellington City, built in the old bond house (now defunct). It had a history of the city and its maritime stories...such as the Wahine ferry disaster, which sank in the harbour. The perfect story to preface our trip across the sea to the South Island tomorrow.

We walked along the harbor docks to Te Papa, the museum of New Zealand. There were lots of people out running there and it seemed like a good place for it. We got to Te Papa and had lunch in the museum cafe. With a nice salad and chicken pie in my stomach, we walked through the description of how New Zealand formed, was populated, and has changed through the years. Saw a surf board decorated completely with puau shells. A giant fishing lure, really, but very pretty. We also were able to walk through an exhibit on the Lord of the Rings trilogy, filmed right here. I was hoping for some site locations, but that seems to be another tourist offering, tours all over the country. It was dark when we got out of the museum, so we walked to the pedestrian mall and found a great hole-in-the-wall Malaysian restaurant on Ghusee Street called "K K Malaysian" serving Roti Chanai and fried rice. Delicious. The dining room walls were a mottled brownish curry color that masked the industrial metal girders that cut across one whole side of the place.

Some careful navigation through the city streets back to our hotel. We then drove over to the ferry terminal to verify that our game plan for tomorrow was workable. It seems that it is, so we returned to the hotel, only minutes away. We closed the day by doing laundry and having a beer (Tui) in the hotel bar while the patrons played some sort of speed-pool, trying to clear their table faster than an opponent on another table. Meanwhile, our laundry cooked itself dry. I nearly burned my fingers on the clothes as I pulled them out of the dryer. We took our piping hot clothes back to the room & packed our bags to be ready for our 0755 showtime at the ferry in the morning.

Did I mention that the bed is so soft and lacking support that it fells like I'm sleeping in a taco shell? Or a bathtub, shapewise.

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