We’ve arrived in Wellington and are trying hard to make it ‘home’ after Ciara brilliantly got a short term contract and is currently in the office as I write this. I’m so looking forward to being a kept man while I hunt for vans, flats and the like :-) (Actually I need to up my game a bit but hey ho….!)
We’ve been socialising a bit with both my mates and Ciara’s. We’ve also borrowed one of their vans to go van hunting but nothing fitted us perfectly – either a lovely van but too small, or the right size (i.e. massive) but beaten up so that was a bit of a downer. Last week had a lot of rushing around so we managed to go and see some of the city this weekend including a great countryside type walk up Mount Victoria right in the city with great views which made us feel a bit better. We’ve been struggling to feel as much at peace with Wellington as to some extents it seems a bit more claustrophic or built up than Auckland, even though that’s probably not the case. It is surrounded by small hills though, and it’s the windiest city in the Southern Hemisphere which has been very apparent! I think it takes a bit more effort to find the gems here.
I’ve turned in the paperwork for our bags that have a small bit of clothes and a lot of climbing stuff in them so we’re waiting for them to clear customs. We’ve moving out the hostel today after a week which will be nice but unfortunately we’re moving a bit further out of the city centre. Everything has been on our doorstep for the last week – only a couple of minutes to downtown and a few to the waterfront. We’re going to Ciara’s mates to try it out for a few days although it’s quite an old fashioned an cold house, but that’s pretty much the norm for the buildings here, especially when rented. The hostel’s here haven’t been as great as I remembered them as I think the Asian ones are starting to kick their @ss in terms of service and facilities – it’s a shame as NZ was always renowned for having great hostels, but I’m sure we’ll find them in our travels outside the cities.
One thing that we are looking forward to exploring when we have more cash flowing is the bar and coffee shop scene in Wellington. The coffees here are taken really seriously and they’re great. Some bars are a bit like the Melbourne scene – head down some really shithole of an alleyway, turn the corner, press the buzzer and a really cool bar opens up for you. Ciara is delighted with an even greater choice of gluten free food. There’s such a selection of breads and stuff that it really is like heaven – I’ll do a separate slideshow of this soon as I’ve been snapping all the products. I think her chin literally hit the ground when she said to ditch the bread at a late night burger place and they turned round and said ‘no worries we’ll put some gluten free bread in there’….and then there was the ginger cake she had…..I swear if we did ever apply for residency (now, Mother’s don’t gulp, it’s just a phrase), then the gluten free living would be in Ciara’s reasons why! Yes Ruth, these really are gluten free, and available in a cafe….double click the image, and virtually taste the beauty!
We’ve been exploring the outdoor shops as well – sometimes they stun you with some amazing stuff in them, and others they stun you with the lack of selection of some things, or the jacket we saw that was amazing but 4 times the current sale price in the UK (although it’s winter here), or the North Face shoes that are on sale with 30% off, and are still twice the price I paid in the UK. We did hit a great produce market yesterday which has an amazing selection of fruits and veg, sometimes at half the supermarket prices.
We have been having a laugh with some of the adverts and notices over here though – they’re not quite as ‘politically correct’ as at home which is a bit refreshing…I’ll put together a gallery of these sometimes, but check out this one for a radio station, seen on the back of a car in Auckland :
Anyway, that’s about it for just now. Hopefully we’ll have better internet access for the rest of this week as we try to get more into a bit of a routine, get out to the climbing wall and I just notice a van we were considering has just been relisted on the auctions……