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Mark's World Tour 2007-08

Day 237: Taupo to Wellington

NEW ZEALAND | Sunday, 29 June 2008 | Views [607]

Sunday 29th June

After a decent nights sleep, I was in pretty good form ahead of our start towards Wellington. The driver picked us up about half an hour late from the hostel and we headed off around Lake Taupo, taking in the sights of this volcanic crater which is bigger than the whole of Singapore and where they have never managed to find the exact bottom, even though they estimate the depth to be somewhere around 500m.

The weather wasn't great, and the sky was overcast for most of the morning, but as we moved into the mountains, we came across some reasonably heavy snow, giving us the opportunity to throw some snowballs (and made me realise that this was one activity that I wasn't going to excel at with a cast on my arm). We continued on and stopped at a couple of towns along the way, which happened to have some very good bakeries in them. I was feeling pretty peckish throughout the day, so indulged in a few tasty treats: a couple of eclairs, a chicken and mushroom pie (probably the best I have ever had) and a sausage roll to wash it down.

As we drove through the countryside, there were a few delays, due mainly to the snow and a reported car accident. This slowed us down quite significantly, so that we were behind schedule and not due to arrive into Wellington later than the 15.00 scheduled time. The driver also told us that the 18.30 ferry from Wellington to Picton, across the Cook Strait that links the North and South Islands, was cancelled due to bad weather. A French woman on the bus was getting very agitated as she was due to catch this boat and meet her son on the other side. She didn't speak much English, so I had to help her out, using my extremely rusty French to let her know what was going on.

In the end, we got to Wellington at about 17.30, in plenty of time and there was good news in that the evening boat was scheduled to leave as the weather had improved sufficiently to sail. Some of the guys from the bus were keen to get to the South Island as soon as possible, so they boarded the boat instead of hanging about until the following morning when they thought that there might have been a risk of it being cancelled again.

Most of the people I had got chatting to on the bus stayed at 'Nomads' hostel on Wakefield Street in the centre of Wellington. It was a clean, modern place and they had a bar next door and the promise of free drinks, a quiz and cheap food. I resisted this tempting offer and instead went to meet Caitlin, one of the people I had met at the hostel I stayed at in Auckland. We went for a tasty curry before we parted ways, and I met up with Mairead Magee and her boyfriend Campbell, who I had bumped into a few days before in Rotorua.

Another of the girls from Bamber House in Auckland – Danika from Winnipeg – was also still in Wellington, as she had been delayed due to the ferry over to the South Island having been cancelled. We tried to meet up but our paths never crossed. I went back to the hostel and caught up with the guys from the bus, and they were well on their way to being drunk after winning the pub quiz and getting a whole load of free stuff, including copious amounts of Jager Bombers (Jagermeister dropped into beer!). I left them to it after an hour or so, preferring to get some rest as we had an early start the next morning to ensure that we got a space on the ferry in the event of it leaving at the scheduled time of 09.00.


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