Wellington and valet parking – Thursday 8th March 2012


All organized for the ferry back to Wellington, North Island, we wake at 6.30, pack, and, finding we have 20 minutes before breakfast begins to be served, think we will phone a few UK friends and use our NZ credit. As soon as we turn on the phone, a text comes informing us the 10.00 ferry has been cancelled due to bad weather and we have been re-booked onto the 1pm.

This sends us into a mild frenzy of phoning friends in the UK, we have time and credit now! It’s wonderful to catch up with them, exchanging gossip over breakfast.

We arrive far too early for the ferry but check in anyway. The journey itself takes an age as they have to accommodate two sets of passengers due to the cancelled ferry and then battle against waves in the sounds, but, seriously, it is not that bad. Only once did the boat heave high and low sufficiently for the waves to crash onto the windows of the deck some 7 decks high. That’s quite exciting! While I sat there seemed no problem, it was a different story when we tried to walk as it was hard to gauge where your foot would land, because the floor kept moving. You had to have elastic knees!
Once in Wellington, we booked into the hotel and discovered valet parking. We have never before casually parked by the side of a busy road and handed our keys over so it could be parked safely! Almost as soon as we reached the room, John thought he might need the car again, simply because we could call for it as often as we needed. I persuaded him that this was not really called for and we off to find dinner on foot.

We are right next to the Beehive and, thanks to an unknown blogger, who lives in Wellington, we now find the largest wooden government building. Really it does not look at all wooden.

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It’s great to be in the centre of a capital city. We become humanised over a pint in a pub and wander through the deserted shopping streets to find the quarter where restaurants abound.
The long thin restaurant we choose, remind me of home. The waitress is very cheerful and the food very good. We begin to unwind.

We converse in such a different way when eating in a restaurant. We begin to discuss what life may be like when one of us dies. There is no melodrama in our conversation, no sentimentality. We have been together for 38 years. It’s right we reassure each other that death is inevitable and will be a big adventure. It would be catastrophic if we had not prepared each other.

We return to the hotel and re-pack, throwing out stuff we no longer need to reduce the weight of our cases, ready for the flight back to Melbourne.

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