Last night, I went outside to have a look at the night sky. Kaikoura, on a clear night, is a great place to see the night sky. I wanted the chance to see the Milky Way and the Southern Cross before I head north to Wellington and the North Island. It’s not as easy to see them up there.God was it gorgeous! I could see the Milky Way and Southern Cross as clear as day in the night sky. They were so bright and twinkley in the sky, it made my heart swell. I thought to myself “that’s another reason why I love New Zealand so much”.
Today was going to be a scorcher too. I decided to take the train:the Coastal Pacific, to Picton instead of taking the bus, as I knew from my last experience that the road to Picton was very windy. I didn’t know if my tummy could handle it, so taking the train was a better option for me. The railway meandered around bends and twists on the coast road and after twenty minutes, we trundled along inland, amongst overlapping hills, with a grass on them like possum fur. I would have been happy to walk for days among these green hills which reminded me so much of Ireland. That’s partly why I feel so at home here.
We got to Picton train station at 12.30pm and it was only five minutes walk to the ferry terminal. I checked in, got a boarding pass and was told that they would be boarding upstairs in ten minutes. So I checked in my rucksack and when I got upstairs, they had already started boarding. I went straight up to the sun deck to sit outside. We left on time and it was quite windy on one side of the boat. I got a photo taken of me and my hair was blowing all over the place. It was another photo to add to the “Windswept and interesting” collection! Luckily it was very calm on the water and after three hours and twenty minutes, we docked in Wellington at 4.30pm.
I had been in contact via email, with a friend of mine, Papa Tipua, in Wellington, for the past year. I had never met him but he very kindly offered me a place to stay in his house, for the three days I was going to be in Wellington. One of his daughters, Tee, picked me up from the Picton ferry. I didn’t know what she looked like and vice versa but she was there holding up a sign with my name on it. So I introduced myself to her and after I picked up my rucksack, we headed off in her car to their house in Tawa.
As I said, they offered me a place to stay, even though their house was already full. Papa Tipua, is Maori and they had three of their daughters staying with them and some of their grandchildren. Bev, Papa Tip’s wife, introduced me to him when I got to the house and it was lovely to finally meet him. They all made me feel very welcome. They have two cats in the household as well as three canaries. Talk about a full house, but it was great to be part of it.