(September 15, 2012) Wellington
We will drive to Wellington, the country's
capital, from the point we end the previous day. In our way we can stop
in some locations from the "Lord of the rings" filming. The
ones in the way are:
- Fernside Lodge, in Featherston: Lothlorien
- Dry Creek Quarry where Helm's Deep and Minas
Tirith were built.
- Town Belt (within the city, a park in the South):
where hobbits were hidden from the Black Rider.
The main visit in the city will be to Te
It is a 2 hours route to cover 150 Km.
No expenses as there is free admission for all
visits for this day.
When we wake up, the owners of the Holyday Park
already here to welcome us to their place nicely. We’re charged only
40$ in total – we’ve been paying 160$ for the same - and they’ve
brought some fresh eggs taken from their farm this morning for our
breakfast. We all agree on this is the best park we’ve been so far.
Also, it is the first with all the pottery and cutlery needed for
cooking and eating.
Soon we’re ready to leave. As yesterday we finally did our homework, we
have all the time today for all the places we want to visit in
Wellington. Somehow, when I’m in front of the exit I receive the notice
our last motorhome cannot go out from the grass. In a closer look, back
wheels are stuck in all the mud just under the grass and just manage to
slip. The left side has opened a deep pit. We take branches and try to
fill the pits setting them under the wheels, but we’re just more deeply
stuck every time.
It seems to be for long and when
the owner comes he gets some things out to put under the wheels and
try, but it is being as futile as our previous attempts. Until an old
man appears, he has got a quite old 4WD which seems to know what to do:
he asks us for setting gear 1 and, over all, don’t touching the
accelerator. Then he uses a rope with a hook to attach the motorhome to
his car and gets out the vehicle with amazing ease. He is our hero and
receives the gratitude from each of us.
time lost is a burden for today’s plans. Anyway, we follow our
itinerary, which includes a road sculpted in the well-forested
mountains. Views are spectacular.
hour we reach Kaitoke Regional Park and we can leave the motorhomes in
the car park in the beginning of two walks: the one to Rivendell –
location of Elven city in “The Lord of the rings” - and the short track
through the rain forest.
We take this last one and immediately find the
swing bridge over the river. After it, rainforest is spectacular, full
of ferns and trees covered with other plants. It is looking dense at
both sides of the path. It was marked as a 30 minutes loop walk, but
we’ve been less than that, even with all the pictures. Then we go to
Rivendell, which is kind of disappointing as we can find a sign clearly
pointing to the place, but the place is just a part of forest, quite
less beautiful than the one in the previous track.
We take the motorhomes back to the way to
Wellington. This city is the capital of New Zealand, although it is not
the bigger of the country, as that is Auckland. Once we reach it we get
our fuel tanks full because I know it is more expensive in the Southern
Island. In our way, we couldn’t see the Quarry we have in the list of
locations. Our idea was, anyway, taking a look from the road, with no
stop. Anything from the set is no longer there.
Once in the city, and without missing the road
along the port, we take a place in the Wellington Waterfront Motorhome
Park which is, as its name says, in front of the sea, and also, it is
located just beside of Bluebridge ferry terminal, where tomorrow we must
be early. Somehow, there is nobody in the small office and the machine
is failing every time it tries to take the money from our card. Our
motorhomes are already parked and plugged, the only we need is to get
the code for using toilets and showers. There are two telephone numbers
to contact in case of problems but we have no credit on our cell phone,
so we go out to the city with the mission of lunching, putting some
credit to the phone and visiting some points as scheduled.
We eat pizzas just across the street and there we’re indicated where to
go to buy some credit for a cell phone: it cannot be done in a bank and
there is no mobile stores for doing that, the place to do that is that
kind of shop selling diverse things, like ice creams (??). And there is
one at the behind this same block.
Now we can call
to the two phone numbers in the Motorhome Park, but nobody answers in
any of them. We will try later. At this moment, we’re going to Te Papa,
the most important museum in the country, which is free and is located
at walking distance following the quay.
is shorter than I expected because the museum is smaller than I
expected. It is enjoyable too: we can see the giant squid captured in
New Zealan in the floor dedicated to nature and some archaeological
Maori things and temples in the 4th floor, dedicated to native culture.
When we’re leaving the Museum there is still daylight and we start to
walk to Town Belt. It seems there are two Town Belts in this city, but
the one we would like to visit is close to the museum. We arrive near
the beginning of the mountain, but the sun is leaving and the steeped
and long climb is going to be worthless if we reach it at dark, so we
abort this last mission and blame this morning’s mud for avoiding
letting us do this visit. We find in Wellington at dusk with the rest
of the day for ourselves and keep walking exploring the city. At least,
the citizens know exactly what to do now: there is a rugby match
between the All Blacks and South African national team to start. And it
seems I know where they’re going to play, as I can see from my position
the lights on in the stadium. All bars and pubs have big screens in
display with the match and we just take a table in one of them. We’re
developing the theory this match, which we could already see is
collapsing the city, has something to do with the fact of not reaching
anybody at phone or office in our Motorhome Park.
The pub where we are is big and seems to be Indian. The match is about
to start and we are watching in time to see the Haka performed by the
New Zealand national team recalling our lesson the day before yesterday.
We take some beers around the fire in the middle of the table and come
back to our motorhomes at night. Tomorrow we must be at 7 AM in ferry
terminal, although it is just besides us.