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2020 - SNZA - Day 10

Updated: May 23, 2022

It's just 'Another Day' said Paul McCartney in about 1971 and so it was.

However today we really did have a ferry to catch which was a good 2 hour drive away over the mountains. We set the alarm for 6.30am as we wanted to have wheels moving by 8am at the latest. We had had breakfast and the car was fully loaded by 7.45am. After a quick chat with the owner we hit the road. For the first time this trip the weather was poor. Although still warm, the clouds were really low and it was inevitable that we were going to driving through them and hit some rain at some point.

Within a short while Karen was asleep in the car as usual leaving me to negotiate the mountain roads on my own. The radio was not much company as we kept losing all signal for much of the time. When Karen awoke from her slumbers we listened to an episode of Desert Island Discs which kept us both amused.

We arrived at Picton with about 15 minutes of the last check in time for the InterIslander Ferry. We sat in the holding queue for about 25 minutes before we were allowed to drive on board. Our allocated parking spot was right at the very back of the boat and we feared it could mean that we would be last to disembark.

We made our way up to the passenger decks and found that the boat was rammed full of people. I would most concerned as not only was the crossing some 3½ hours long, but I needed somewhere to properly sit to take my mind off the fact we were on a boat. We eventually found a table that was not being used and plonked ourselves down. The boat must have been very full as the crew were making anyone laying down, sit up so that more people could actually sit down.

There was Wifi but understandably it was not that fast. I passed the first hour writing the blog amongst other things like sending messages to the boys and felt fine. Then as the boat left the coastline of the South Island and hit the open waters of the Cook Strait, it started to hit the swells and my stomach went. I tried getting up and walking to the toilet but felt really grim and white. As we had a small table I laid with my head on it to try and cope the best I could. Fortunately nearly everyone around us had fallen asleep in different positions so I didn’t draw any attention to myself. I actually fell asleep for about 20 minutes which helped a lot. By the time I woke up and steadied myself I could tell we had hit calmer waters. It still took another 30 minutes before my stomach felt normal again.

I really don’t know why this happens to me. I did everything possible to distract myself and not even think about it before it happened. It is very annoying but also quite grim at the time. Karen said that I was fine until I mentioned it to her. But the point was I didn’t mention it to her until I knew how bad I felt. I do think that sometimes people worry themselves about being seasick and so almost bring it on themselves. Today it had barely crossed my mind and I was fine for the first part of the voyage and just assumed I would be all the way through.

An announcement was made as we pulled into the port to return to the cars. As I suspected we were almost last off but not quite. Today this frustrated Karen more than it did me waiting in the queue which makes a change.

We made our way to the Hotel we had booked in Wellington. This was one we had stayed in before. It is a posh Travelodge that Karen found acceptable despite it being little different to the one we had stayed in Christchurch. We literally threw our bags into the room before heading out again.

We were off to the Te Papa National Museum. We had only had a hour to look round this previously and wanted more time this time. We parked underneath the building and made our way in. This has my favourite type of entrance fee being Free. Our first stop was the Natural World of NZ. All jolly interesting particularly about the fact that over half of the animal life here is unique to NZ. There was more about the giant Moa birds which were hunted to extinction. These would have been a sight to see. I am not up on these things like this but would have thought by now they could have extracted the DNA from some of the bones etc they have and cloned them in some way (the same goes for the West Runton Mammoth and the Dodo). I also enjoyed the section on earthquakes and tsunamis.

The next section we visited or should say revisited was the Gallipoli Exhibition by Peter Jackson. It was just as moving and thought provoking as before. The enormous figures take your breath away along with the soundtrack and effects. The sheer futility of war. At the end there are poppies where you can write messages on and then place them on the last figure. As before I wrote my Dad’s name on it who will always be my hero. I shed a tear as I placed it in with the thousands of other poppies.

This exhibition needs to go on the road around the world. It is breathtakingly good and people should be given the opportunity to see it. It would be worth an admission fee to cover costs and for charity.

Then we went up the floors and looked around a couple of the other floors. The section on the Maori history was very good. I think that finally a country like NZ has come to terms with its past and what is now seen as colonial misrule. As a nation they embrace the Maori culture and fully integrate it and their needs into their everyday lives. Other countries could learn much from this approach. Speaking of Maori's I still cannot over the size of them. They are really big units, not fat just big and muscular. No wonder they are so good at Rugby. I wonder how many of them are in the NFL?

The funniest part of the rest of the museum was a small section on the attempts to get the endangered Kakapo male birds to mate. The early attempts to ‘assist’ the male birds were comical to say the least as a short film quite crudely at times detailed. It made us laugh out loud. Not sure if this will work but here is a link to that film that someone put on You Tube.

We then decided to find somewhere to eat whilst we were still in Downtown Wellington. A quick check on Trip Advisor showed a place called Joes Garage was fairly close and so we walked to that. It was actually very nice. I had some delicious twice cooked Pork Belly. Karen was not so happy with her choice of a Chicken Breast burger saying that it wasn’t big enough for her although the quality was good.

Back in the Hotel we opened the bottle of Waipara Springs Rielsing that Karen had got so excited about during the tasting. I have never been keen on Riesling as it tastes too wine’y for me and this was no different in my opinion, but at least Karen was happy - Happy Wife - Happy Life.

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