Thursday, 13 December 2012

Wellington, New Zealand

Another lovely journey on the intercity through the Tongariro national park and its highly active volcano. As usual the drivers are super-informative and friendly. We stop at a curious farm cafe for a coffee and savoury scone. Out back there's some ducks, chickens, sheeps and some fluffy Llama type animals. In Wellington i'm dropped off at the main bus terminal then take a windy walk through town to the enormous YHA - this place has six floors!

Let it be known from the start that I love this place. This city was designed for people. Everything connects together perfectly. You can amble about along the whole waterfront, taking in bars, businesses, the museum, planks to jump into the crystal blue harbour from, sailing clubs, rowing clubs, helicopter taxi's - the list is endless. Businessmen on skateboards, joggers and cyclists happily share the board walk. There's no sense of one-up-man-ship here - no feeling of 'my house is bigger than your house' or 'my boat is faster than your boat' - everybody just seems happy to be there, and why wouldn't they?

20 minutes on the bus and you're on a remote beach at Island bay. From here are walking/cycling tracks around the point to red rocks and a seal colony - but it was off-season, and there was only one seal. Back in the city you can get up Mount Victoria in 45 minutes with an amazing 360 of the whole area. Down a track and some steep roads brings you back to sea level, and a beach fronted by some beautiful houses. This is where I shall live, if I ever come into some money - everything is so expensive. beer I ever drunk, at $11 (£5.50) for a pint - eek

My usually great YHA experience was tainted by two young German guys in the dorm - and they were without doubt the two most annoying bastards I've ever had the misfortune to share with. I got back the room at lunchtime to collect something and they were asleep, the room was pitch dark and stuffy with the windows closed. I grabbed my stuff and headed back out. Getting back to the room about 5pm they'd just got out of bed, I said hi but got no response. The window was still closed and the curtains drawn - I opened them, to looks of disgust. There were many power sockets in the room in use, charging their phones, laptops and mp3 players. I asked to use the one next to my bed and received a "no". I pointed at a spare one next to their bunk and said use that one. They couldn't as there was no signal there, and the phone was downloading. I bluntly said that I'm going to use this socket, just for 20 minutes, and unplugged the phone. Then they were obviously imitating my frustration in German. As they'd been sleeping all day they were full of beans - they didn't go out and talked and talked and talked - several times I told them to be quiet. At 2am they woke me up leaving the room and I though AHHH great, now I can get sleep, as I need to get the ferry at 7am next morning. They came back half an hour later with a McDonalds, eating it in the room and talking talking talking! I couldn't beleive it. I didn't say anything, I took some deep breaths to relax and put thoughts of killing them both out of my head and tried to get some sleep. What can you do? Some people really are arseholes.  

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