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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

New Zealand dreaming!

NEW ZEALAND | Saturday, 14 January 2006 | Views [674]

            I would now like to describe the highlights of my eighth day in New Zealand. Man, was that a nice catch last night or what? I finished packing my stuff at 7:00 and then went to the lobby for breakfast. There was the usual stuff. Today was our big drive to Wellington; New Zealand’s capital and the world’s southernmost national capital. After loading all of our junk, we were on the road again, just like the song “On the Road Again.” We drove along beautiful Lake Taupo, where we sailed last night. What a beautiful lake! On the lake I saw people kayaking and boating. About two hours into our journey, we stopped at Flat Falls for lunch. I got a pork sandwich topped with applesauce, and fries. It was very good; I’ve never thought of pork with applesauce. It was a nice little shop! We stayed for a half hour before continuing our scenic drive down the volcanic plateau. On the way, we stopped and I took pictures of Mt. Ruapehu and Mt. Ngauruhoe. What a majestic sight! Mike told us that scientists believe Mt. Ruapehu will erupt within the next 18 months. It was partially covered with snow as well, and is a hot spot for skiing. After the photo stop, we continued our journey south. The days are getting longer. We passed through a town called Bulls, and their police station is called the Consta-Bull. We then dropped off Josh, who is one of my travel mates. He’s going to visit his family in Napier for a few days and is going to rejoin us in Christchurch. We drove through many miles of sheep country. On the way I saw a street called

Norwood Lane
. I wonder if that has anything to do with Elizabeth’s family. We made a comfort stop in this other little town before driving along the west coast of the North Island, and I was hoping to catch a glimpse of the South Island, but it wasn’t clear enough. Near Wellington, Mike told us that Wellington is basically broken up into four towns: Wellington, Upper & Lower Hutt, and Porirua. About three hours after our earlier photo stop, we were in Wellington. It’s my first time visiting a national capital. I love the milestones in travelling. Mike told us that the runway at Wellington’s international airport does not meet safety standards. Well, I know one place where not to fly. I also learned that it is near a major fault, just like San Francisco. As we made it through Wellington, Mike pointed out the rugby stadium and Phil took us to the top of Mt. Victoria. It was beautiful up top. Wellington kind of reminds me of Malibu, because a lot of its homes are on the sides of hills and is surrounded by water. Up at Mt. Victoria, we stopped for a few moments. There was a concrete tent that was a replica of one used in the Antarctic, but someone had tagged it, and so I couldn’t get a good picture. We went back down and Mike told us the various clubs we could go. I learned that Wellington has more cafes per head of population than New York City. We then checked into our hotel, which is called the Abel Tasman Hotel. He was such a famous explorer. After checking in, I decided to explore Wellington. I walked past the Beehive, which is actually the Executive Wing, and got some pictures. I walked around some more and saw a café called Latitude 41. Wellington is at 41ºS, making it the world’s southernmost capital. Near that area, I saw some kids rollerblading and thought about renting some skates, but I decided not to. Then, I walked toward the Te Papa Museum. “Te Papa” means “our place” in Maori. I got food at McDonald’s before exploring the museum, but I only had 45 minutes because it closes at 6 PM. So, I checked out the Treaty of Waitangi, and got a photo. I didn’t have time to read it though. I also checked out some information on dinosaurs and the tuatara. I tried to call my Mom from a payphone inside the museum, but I had no luck. After the museum closed, I walked back to the room to meet the team for dinner. We went to The Quarter, which is a restaurant with a New Orleans theme. That poor city! I feel so bad for all the crap those people have had to go through. I’d love to visit New Orleans someday. I decided on getting spare ribs with fries and a Diet Coke. I didn’t finish them all though. I’ve been eating more than usual here. I played a game of pool with Andy and came from behind to win. I had three balls left while he was down to just the 8 ball. I beat him and he bought me a Diet Coke as a victory drink. After leaving, we hung out at Molly’s, an Irish pub in the heart of Wellington. At the door, the security guard bugged me about not having my I.D., but Claire explained that I was with Contiki and he didn’t bother me. I didn’t have anything to drink, but everyone else was getting smashed. I was sticking to Red Bull and Diet Coke. There was karaoke at the bar and I noticed young people singing “South Australia.” I love that song! However, I decided to call it a night earlier than everyone else. As I was walking back, I saw this girl who was getting married, and had candy tied to her clothes. I’m guessing it’s a New Zealand tradition, but she asked me to bite a piece off of her, so I did. I just thought it was cute, and the girl was very pretty. Tomorrow is my last full day on the North Island. I’ll sure miss it here. My favourite parts have been the geysers and underground rafting to see glow worms. Well, I want to make the most of tomorrow here in Wellington, so I got to hit the sack. Good Night.

Tags: On the Road

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